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A lesson in leadership

Commerce student Vanessa Lin spends a day with Purolator's John Ferguson through CEOx1Day program.

Vanessa Lin and John Ferguson of Purolator
Through the CEOx1Day program, Vanessa Lin (Com'19) spent a day of learning with Purolator CEO John Ferguson as well as other company executives. (Supplied Photo)

When Vanessa Lin (Com’19) was selected to take part in the CEOx1Day program, she knew she was in for a unique experience.

What she didn’t know was how much access she would be given to Purolator President and Chief Executive Officer John Ferguson.

As a result of the in-person connection, Ms. Lin gained valuable insight into what it takes to lead a Canadian company with more than 10,000 employees.

Run by talent management firm Odgers Berndtson, CEOx1Day connects students with industry leaders for in-person learning opportunities.

When she heard about the program, Ms. Lin knew she had to apply.

“I was drawn to it because it is such a unique opportunity,” she says. “When else would you get the chance to learn from someone with such a high-level scope? It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see that kind of role firsthand.”

After applying online Ms. Lin underwent a rigorous, multi-stage assessment and interview process. In the end she was one of 18 post-secondary students from across Canada selected for the job-shadowing program.

Ms. Lin arrived at Purolator on Friday, Feb. 23 and started her day with a tour of the massive shipping facility in Mississauga. Throughout the day she met with a number of executives, including Mr. Ferguson, learning about the company and their roles.

What impressed Ms. Lin the most was the opportunity to observe Mr. Ferguson’s leadership style through a series of meetings, including a straight-talk session with employees.

“He takes a very collaborative approach,” Ms. Lin says. “Even though he leads, he also really values everyone else’s contributions. You can tell he really embodies diversity characteristics and understands that a team is better when there is diversity and everyone works together.  Seeing that and then seeing how transparent he is with people in all positions throughout the company – that consistent approach really resonated with me. That is the kind of leader I want to be as well.”

In her third year of studies at Smith School of Business, Ms. Lin is busy outside the classroom through extra-curricular activities and also volunteers in the Kingston community with Girls Inc. and the Algonquin and Lakeshore District School Board. This fall semester she completed a study exchange at the University of Economics, Prague.

Looking to her own career path there is no definite end goal, she says, but she is clear on her approach.

“I will be working hard and doing something I love,” she says. “It’s about making an impact wherever that turns out to be.”

Alumnus astronaut safely arrives at International Space Station

[Expedition 55 blasts off]
Drew Feustel and the rest of the Expedition 55 crew launch from Kazahkstan on Wednesday afternoon for a two day journey to the International Space Station. (Photo Credit: (NASA/Joel Kowsky)


March 23, 2018 update: Drew Feustel and the crew of Expedition 55 have arrived at the International Space Station (ISS). The Soyuz MS-08 spacecraft docked onto the ISS at 3:43 pm EST after a two day journey from Earth. This was a flawless docking executed by the teams, according to the NASA live feed. Check out footage of the ISS capturing the Soyuz MS-08 below, and other details about the mission, and Dr. Feustel’s many connections to his alma mater.

March 21, 2018 update: Drew Feustel and the crew of Expedition 55 have safely launched into low-Earth orbit and are en route to the International Space Station. They will arrive at the ISS on Friday, March 23, at 3:41 pm EST. Check out the photos below of the launch and the Queen's viewing party, hosted by the Department of Geological Science and Geological Engineering.

  • [Expedition 55 crew prepare for launch]
    Expedition 55 flight engineer Drew Feustel of NASA, top, flight engineer Ricky Arnold of NASA, middle, and Soyuz Commander Oleg Artemyev of Roscosmos, bottom, wave farewell prior to boarding the Soyuz MS-08 spacecraft for launch, Wednesday, March 21, 2018 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Photo Credit: (NASA/Joel Kowsky)
  • [Astronauts keep track of vital systems during launch]
    The Expedition 55 crew keep track of the ship's vital systems during launch. (Photo credit: NASA live feed)
  • [Department of Geological Science and Geological Engineering hosts launch viewing party]
    Students from the Department of Geological Science and Geological Engineering watch the launch of Expedition 55. (University Communications)
  • [Students watch the launch]
    Geological Science and Geological Engineering students got to witness Drew Feustel, an alumnus of their program, launch into low-orbit over Earth. (University Communications)
  • [Alex Braun shows students model shuttle]
    Alex Braun (Geophysics) shows Geological Science and Geological Engineering students a model of the shuttle, with a scale replica astronaut to show the immense size of the spaceship. (University Communications)
  • [Closeup of spaceship and lander model]
    A closeup of the model ship and lander that Alex Braun (Geophysics) brought to demonstrate the scale of the spaceship. (University Communications)

Blasting off to the International Space Station

On Wednesday, Drew Feustel (PhD’95, DSc’16) left Earth and began his journey into orbit as the next Canadian to live and work aboard the International Space Station (ISS). The Queen’s alumnus and astronaut is the Flight Engineer for Expedition 55 and will stay on the ISS for six months, taking over as Commander of the ISS in June for Expedition 56.

“We’re excited for Dr. Feustel’s third mission to space, on an expedition overseeing hundreds of experiments over six months,” says John Fisher, Interim Vice-Principal (Research). “From astroparticle physics to clean tech, many of the tests he and his team will perform will contribute to research here on Earth and align with many areas of research excellence here at Queen’s.  We wish him the best for his expedition.” 

Students will get the chance to ask Dr. Feustel questions during a Queen’s-hosted Education Downlink event, Ask an Astronaut, on April 6. More details about this special event will be available soon.

Dr. Feustel’s journey to Queen’s and beyond

Dr. Feustel grew up in Michigan, and came to Kingston to complete a PhD in Geological Sciences at Queen’s in the nineties. He and his wife Indira, a speech-language pathologist from Ontario, met while both were studying at Purdue University. Dr. Feustel attained his Canadian citizenship while in Kingston, and moved to Houston after his PhD to pursue a career in geoscience. Their children, Ari and Aden, were born in Kingston and the family is still closely connected to the area through family and friends.

Dr. Feustel dreamt of becoming an astronaut since childhood, and became interested in the opportunity after watching the Canadian Space Agency’s (CSA) astronaut search in 1992. He then reached out to Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield while in Houston who encouraged him to pursue his dream. Dr. Feustel applied to become an astronaut with NASA in 2000, and was selected on his first try. Expedition 55 will be his third mission to space.

Back on Earth, Dr. Feustel enjoys auto restoration, car and motorcycle racing, guitar, tennis, and water and snow skiing. It’s still unknown if he’ll bring any of his favourite hobbies with him to the ISS.

About the mission

At least two spacewalks are planned during the mission. Some of the planned experiments during Expedition 55 include:

  • studying thunder and lightning to learn more about the role of severe thunderstorms in Earth’s atmosphere and climate,
  • studying materials, coatings, and components in the harsh environment of space,
  • testing microgravity’s impact on bone marrow, and
  • simulating gravity aboard the ISS and testing on samples such as fruit flies, flatworms, plants, fish, cells, and protein crystals.

An alumni connection through music

Dr. Feustel has another connection with Queen’s: Rob Baker (Artsci’86), lead guitarist with The Tragically Hip.

“About 12 years ago, we were touring in the States and had an upcoming gig in Houston, and we got the call from Drew Feustel, asking if we’d be interested in having a tour of NASA’s facilities,” says Mr. Baker. “It was out of the blue to us, but we grew up in a certain time when the Apollo missions were front and centre in our childhoods growing up, so we were all excited to check it out. We rode the shuttle simulator, got to ask questions and saw them training in this gigantic pool, got a tour of the space arm – it was fantastic, and Drew was amazing with us.”

The two bonded over a shared love for music, and have stayed close friends since.

“He was in a band with a bunch of astronauts at NASA, playing in the same bar that we were. He said they played the greatest hits of the sixties, seventies, and the Tragically Hip,” says Mr. Baker. “I think he gets excited around musicians, but we get pretty excited around an astronaut.”

Mr. Baker wished his friend well on the voyage, and couldn’t wait to hear about everything he’ll get up to on the ISS.

“He’s not just a Canadian in space – he’ll be the Commander of the space station. He’s the king of space! It’s special, and a great connection for Queen’s.”

[Drew Feustel]
Dr. Feustel listens to a reporter’s question during the crew’s final day of qualification exams for Expedition 55 on Feb. 21, 2018, in Star City, Russia.
(Photo credit: Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center/Andrey Shelepin and Irina Spektor)
[Drew Feustel with googles]
The Virtual Reality Laboratory at Johnson Space Center is an immersive training facility that provides real time graphics and motion simulators integrated with a tendon-driven robotic device to provide the kinesthetic sensation of the mass and inertia characteristics of any large object being handled.

Follow the journey

Keep this page bookmarked for updates as the launch approaches, and read more at:

Follow Dr. Feustel’s journey on social media:

[Drew Feustel]
Drew is picured here at the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory, an astronaut training facility located near the Johnson Space Center. Its main feature is a large indoor pool in which astronauts can perform extravehicular activity (EVA).


Indigenous art collection grows with generous donation

The Agnes Etherington Art Centre has received a gift of Inuit prints and a bequest from Margaret McGowan (Artsci’78) and her husband.

Mattiusie Manakudluk (QC 1911-Puvirnituq QC 1968), In Summer They Went Camping, In Winter They Went for Seals, 1968, stonecut on paper, 27/30.  Gift of Margaret McGowan Artsci’78, 2017 (60-003.18). (Photo by Bernard Clark)
Mattiusie Manakudluk (QC 1911-Puvirnituq QC 1968), In Summer They Went Camping, In Winter They Went for Seals, 1968, stonecut on paper, 27/30.  Gift of Margaret McGowan Artsci’78, 2017 (60-003.18). (Photo by Bernard Clark)

The Agnes Etherington Art Centre has received a donation of 23 stone-cut and stencil prints from alumna Margaret McGowan (Artsci’78). Ms. McGowan and her husband have also sponsored a research studentship, and these gifts complement bequests that the couple had previously established.

“As a student at Queen’s, I visited the Agnes regularly to see the exhibits and to enjoy the peace and beauty of the original house,” she says. “Recently, a more immediate opportunity to make a gift presented itself. For years I collected early Inuit prints from Puvirnituq on the east coast of Hudson Bay in northern Québec. I offered the collection of 23 prints to Queen’s, and Professor Norman Vorano was enthusiastic about adding them to the Agnes’s collection. He suggested the prints would offer possibilities for programming, exhibitions, and academic and community-based research.”

The prints span the first decades of printmaking in the Puvirnituq community, from 1961 to 1989. Consisting of 23 works on paper, the donation provides a representative overview of the emergence of printmaking in this community. The prints focus on depictions of birds and animals, show hunting scenes, and life at camp, with a few of the illustrations representing stories from the oral history of the Inuit culture.

In addition to this gift, Ms. McGowan and her husband are supporting a research studentship specific to Indigenous art and with a priority focus on Inuit art. The Research Studentship in Indigenous Art will provide opportunities for Queen’s students to further their studies in art history, art conservation, or Indigenous studies; enable research into the prints of Puvirnituq; and benefit the collections and programs at the Agnes.

To be eligible for the studentship, interested students must submit their applications to the Agnes Etherington Art Centre and a committee will decide on the recipient. The studentship will be granted on the basis of demonstrated knowledge, interest, and experience in the relevant disciplines, and the candidate's potential to contribute to the field.

Dr. Vorano, a Queen's National Scholar and Curator of Indigenous Art with the Agnes, says this donation is an excellent complement to the art centre’s existing Inuit graphic arts and resources.

“The McGowan donation will help Queen’s foster and support innovative student research, and enhance the experiential learning possibilities in the gallery and beyond,” says Dr. Vorano. “This donation will help us present a more comprehensive and comparative history of Arctic printmaking, and through the research studentship will also help attract Indigenous students and support a diverse array of graduate and upper-year undergraduate research.”

In addition to furthering scholarship on campus, these new art pieces and the studentship will support Queen’s in its reconciliation efforts. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission task force report called on the university to, among other things, raise awareness of the complex histories of Indigenous Peoples, and to enhance the visibility of Indigenous communities at Queen’s.

The donation
● Twenty-three stone-cut and stencil prints from Puvirnituq, an Inuit community in northern Québec. This donation was provided by Margaret McGowan.

● Ms. McGowan and her husband have also established the Research Studentship in Indigenous Art – an active research studentship focused on Indigenous art with a preference on Inuit art. This is in addition to a research studentship the couple had previously established as part of an estate gift.

● Also as part of the estate gift, a program will be created to provide bursaries for elementary and high school students participating in public and art education programs at the Agnes.

The donations also build on past commitments that Ms. McGowan and her husband have made to the Agnes. The couple had previously established two bequests which will establish a second research studentship, and will create a bursary program that will provide full or partial bursaries for elementary and high school students participating in public and art education programming presented by the Agnes Etherington Art Centre. 

“I am tremendously grateful to Ms. McGowan and her husband for this generous gift of art, which enables us to better reflect the complex expression of Inuit culture, and for such thoughtful support for related research,” says Jan Allen, Director of the Agnes Etherington Art Centre. “We look forward to sharing new insights and to presenting these extraordinary prints for all to enjoy, as part of the expanding presence of Indigenous culture on campus and across the wider community.”

A selection of the Puvirnituq prints will be displayed at the Agnes in the spring and summer 2019.

The timing of this donation is also significant, as it comes just as the Master of Art Conservation program announced a $632,000 grant over five years from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The grant will be used to develop conservation research and online courses with a focus on Indigenous material culture.

For more information on art exhibits at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, visit agnes.queensu.ca.

Innovation bootcamp goes global

The Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre is working with the Bader International Study Centre to bring entrepreneurship to the castle.

Study space at the BISC. (Photo by Lucy Carnaghan)
Study space at the Bader International Study Centre. Soon, budding entrepreneurs will be able to access co-working space and other resources as a new entrepreneurship program launches at the castle. (Photo by Lucy Carnaghan)

A group of Queen’s students will be taking a trip to the past this fall to prepare themselves for their future.

The Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre (DDQIC) is expanding its annual summer entrepreneurship bootcamp to the Bader International Study Centre (BISC) for the first time starting this year.

“It has never been more important for entrepreneurs to look beyond our borders for opportunities,” says Greg Bavington (Sc’85), Executive Director of the DDQIC. “Many Canadian undergraduate students have not had the benefit of an international experience necessary to be successful in entrepreneurship abroad. The i²TRM program is intended to give them that experience and gain a historical and international context for innovation and entrepreneurship in London, the cradle of the industrial economy.”

The i²TRM (International Innovation Term) program at the BISC is designed for upper-year students in any faculty who are looking to deepen their knowledge of entrepreneurship and eventually start their own businesses.

It is anticipated this new offering at the BISC will attract up to 20 students to the U.K. in its first year.

Students who are accepted into this pilot program will spend time in Kingston with the Queen’s Innovation Centre Summer Initiative (QICSI) program in August, and kick-start their entrepreneurial ambitions at the castle in September. They will complete a one-week business bootcamp at Queen’s campus and then travel to the BISC.

To help prepare them to launch their own businesses, the students will take up to three entrepreneurship and innovation courses at the BISC. The program will launch with a one-week intensive bootcamp on main campus at the end of August, followed by travel to England where students will join Castle Orientation, then continue their bootcamp for another week. The courses will be taught over a one-week intensive period by Mr. Bavington, as well as the DDQIC’s Academic Director James McLellan and Associate Professor Sidneyeve Matrix.

"This program is ideal for students with an interest in innovation and entrepreneurship in an international context,” noted Dr. McLellan. "In addition to developing a foundation in entrepreneurship and starting their own business ventures, students will have an opportunity to visit and learn from major centres of creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship in the UK through formal and self-curated field trips. Students will also receive valuable mentoring and insights from members of the London node in DDQIC’s Global Network, who will be providing guest lectures and feedback to student ventures.”

Once they land at the castle, the students will have the balance of the term to try to launch their business. During this time, the students will be networking, taking field trips to London and other parts of the European Union, and benefit from guest lectures and mentorship from the London node of the DDQIC’s global network.

The term will conclude with a final pitch competition, with the winners receiving seed funding to give their business some additional support.

To help the new offering get off to a strong start, the BISC is looking to add co-working space and a makerspace on the castle grounds. This would offer the budding entrepreneurs more space for meetings and the resources to help build and test their product prototypes. Hugh Horton, Executive Director of the BISC, says he hopes to have these new spaces ready for the fall.

“This new offering combines cutting-edge training and skills with the strengths of our historic environment and tight-knit campus community, as well as access to Queen’s alumni network in the U.K.,” says Dr. Horton. “The entrepreneurship courses and resources will broaden the range of programming available to students and offer a unique and valuable learning experience.”

The DDQIC is planning to host an information session this spring to answer questions and attract entrepreneurial students to the program. For dates and more information, please contact innovation.centre@queensu.ca

To learn more about the i²TRM program, visit the BISC website.

Standardized Patient program extends beyond campus

Queen's-based program uses actors to enhance training in the community.

The Kingston community will soon benefit from an expanded Queen’s University Standardized Patient and Objective Standardized Clinical Examination (SP&OSCE) program – a unique educational experience that uses actors to enhance training.

A  is an actor who is trained to portray the historical, emotional, and physical characteristics of a real person for educational purposes. This is done through simulated interviews and examinations. Standardized patients are also trained to provide feedback so students can gain insight into their strengths as well as areas requiring improvement. 

[Standardized Patient program]
Standardized patients go through a rigourous training program.

Started in 1992, the SP&OSCE Program has recruited and deployed more than 100 standardized patients in clinical skills, training and examinations for Faculty of Health Science students. Actors can take part in a variety of scenarios ranging from routine to emergent situations.

“For the past 25 years, Queen’s has run a successful standardized patient program catering to the Faculty of Health Sciences,” says Rebecca Snowdon, Community Outreach Coordinator. “Now we want to offer our services outside of the university to provide realistic, hands-on training to other departments, teams and organizations. We can provide a valuable service to the Kingston area with our standardized patients.”

Simulated learning provides a safe, yet realistic environment in which professionals from all fields can practice their skills. As the SP&OSCE program expands to the broader community, companies and organizations can hire actors to work in faculty development, dispute resolution, business, law enforcement, customer service, pharmacy, and physiotherapy.

“Standardized patients can be used in a wide range of applications outside of medicine. Over the past year we’ve been receiving an influx of bookings and requests from organization outside the university, it seemed a natural time to expand.  We’re excited to share the benefits of simulated learning,” says Kate Slagle, the SP&OSCE Program Manager.

The launch is set to begin this month with an open house at the Queen’s School of Medicine Clinical Teaching Centre on Monday, March 26 from 1 to 4 pm.  At the open house visitors will learn more about what the program has to offer, take a tour of the facility, and hear testimonials from those who have benefited from the program.

For more information visit the website.

Agreement highlights college-university collaboration

Queen’s online Bachelor of Health Sciences program will offer advanced standing to students from various college programs across the province.

A doctor uses a touch screen. (iStock)
A doctor uses a touch screen. (iStock)

Queen’s University has signed agreements with 10 Ontario colleges which will allow students enrolled in a one-year health-centred certificate program to gain advanced standing in a Queen’s online health degree.

New articulation agreements signed with colleges across Ontario, including Kingston’s St. Lawrence College, will allow graduates of the colleges’ Pre-Health Sciences advanced pathway who enroll in the Queen’s online Bachelor of Health Sciences program to receive credit for roughly one semester of courses.

Colleges who have signed onto this agreement:
• Algonquin College, Ottawa
• Cambrian College, Sudbury
• Fleming College, Peterborough
• Georgian College, Barrie
• Humber College, Toronto
• Loyalist College, Belleville
• Niagara College, Niagara-on-the-Lake
• Northern College, Timmins
• Sheridan College, Toronto
• St. Lawrence College, Kingston

“These agreements are an example of our commitment to collaboration and innovation within the higher education system,” says Principal Daniel Woolf. “We are simplifying the process for qualified students who are seeking a high-quality education in the health field, while also delivering that education in a way that is flexible and forward-looking. We look forward to welcoming these students and helping them begin rewarding careers in healthcare.”

The agreements are effective immediately and are designed to pair the students’ introductory training and experience in health and healthcare with the necessary theoretical knowledge to pursue a variety of health professions or further studies at the university level.

“We are so pleased to work with Queen’s University to be able to offer this new pathway to our students,” says Glenn Vollebregt, President and CEO of St. Lawrence College. “We know that many of our students are just beginning their post-secondary journey and opening up accessible ways for them to be able to achieve their educational goals is an important way we can help them on their career path.”

Post-secondary student mobility has been a priority of the Ontario government. In 2011, the government established the Ontario Council on Articulation and Transfer (ONCAT) to enhance student pathways and reduce barriers for students looking to transfer among Ontario’s 45 publicly assisted postsecondary institutions.

In response, Ontario universities and colleges have stepped up their efforts to develop transfer credit policies and practices, making it easier for students to choose their path through the postsecondary system. According to ONCAT, 55,000 students transfer institutions each year in Ontario.

Queen’s receives dozens of college graduates each year through academic pathways that have been established between individual faculties and colleges across Canada, including a collaborative degree in Music Theatre where students complete two years at St. Lawrence College and two years at Queen’s.

To learn more about the Queen’s online Bachelor of Health Sciences degree, visit bhsc.queensu.ca. Applications for the Spring 2018 term are now open.

Exploring Indigenous identities

The Queen’s Native Student Association (QNSA) is organizing a week of events aimed at raising awareness of reconciliation and Indigenous matters.

Queen's Native Students' Association member Helena Kita (Artsci'19) and Co-President Sarah Hanson (Artsci'17) help take down the thoughts of the Queen's community as part of Indigenous Awareness Week. (University Communications)
Queen's Native Student Association member Helena Kita (Artsci'19) and Co-President Sarah Hanson (Artsci'19) help take down the thoughts of the Queen's community as part of Indigenous Awareness Week. (University Communications)

Through song, stories, food, and art, organizers of Indigenous Awareness Week hope to spend the next few days exploring what it means to have Indigenous identity.

“Whether you are an Indigenous person, a well-established ally, or beginning your journey towards ally-ship and educating yourself on Indigenous histories, cultures, and current issues, you are invited to join us this week,” says Queen’s Native Student Association (QNSA) Co-President Sarah Hanson (Artsci’19). “Our goal is to engage all members of our community in a discussion around Indigeneity and reconciliation, and further their knowledge of issues affecting Indigenous Peoples today.”

There are several activities planned throughout the week, with events scheduled for each day. This year, organizers have aligned Indigenous Awareness Week with the QNSA’s annual conference – blending the learning and social aspects of the two events.

On Monday, members of the Queen’s community can participate in a whiteboard session from 10 am to 3 pm in the Athletics and Recreation Complex (ARC). Organizers hope to use the time to gather thoughts on what reconciliation means to them, and share it on a canvas forever featured by QNSA.

Monday night will include a poetry slam featuring community poet Bob Mackenzie as well as Queen’s student poets in the Grad Club.

On Tuesday, organizers will lead a mass KAIROS exercise from noon to 2 pm. in the McLaughlin Room of the John Deutsch University Centre (JDUC). This exercise is a teaching tool used to share the historic and contemporary relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada. Later that evening, organizers will show Angry Inuk, a documentary about a new generation of Inuit as they participate in the traditional seal hunt. The film will be followed by a discussion lead by Professor Noel McDermott (PhD’15).

Those looking to broaden their palates should stop in to Wednesday’s bannock and tea sale from 9 am until noon at the intersection of Union and University.

A student contributes to the Indigenous Awareness Week whiteboard. (University Communications)
A student contributes to the Indigenous Awareness Week whiteboard. (University Communications)

Thursday will see a number of Indigenous vendors visiting campus to sell their artwork and other creations between 10 am and 2 pm in the JDUC. Some of the items that will be for sale include beautiful traditional items such as dreamcatchers and earrings. Later in the day, QNSA will host a Kehewin Cree Hoop Dance workshop.

Thursday evening, two acclaimed Indigenous models will visit the Queen’s campus to share their stories and experiences at a ticketed event. Miss Universe Canada Siera Bearchell and International Model and former cover of Vogue Ellyn Jade will join the Queen’s community for a wine and cheese event at the Agnes. The event is being co-hosted by the QNSA and the Vogue Charity Fashion Show.

Friday culminates in a town hall event featuring Clement Chartier, President of the Métis National Council. Mr. Chartier will deliver remarks from 12:15 to 1:15 pm in Goodes Hall, and a reception will follow at the Agnes from 1:30 to 3 pm.

Sixty volunteers are coming together to help make Indigenous Awareness Week a reality, and the QNSA has received support from a number of groups on campus including the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre, the Grad Club, and the Institute for Intergovernmental Relations.

“We are so excited that Indigenous Awareness Week includes participation from students, staff and faculty from all parts of our university,” says Darian Doblej, (ArtsSci ’18). “Working towards reconciliation requires all of us, non-Indigenous and Indigenous people working together in order to create better futures. When everyone here comes out to events, I know we can be confident in just that – creating better futures.”

Queen's community members filled in their thoughts responding to the question, "What does the term Indigenous mean to you?" (Supplied Photo)
Queen's community members filled in their thoughts responding to the question, "What does the term Indigenous mean to you?" (Supplied Photo)

To stay up to date on Indigenous Awareness Week at Queen’s, please visit the Queen’s Native Student Association’s Facebook page.

Smith launches North America’s first graduate business degree in artificial intelligence

Master's program focuses on the application of artificial intelligence and machine learning in the context of modern business decision-making.

Smith School of Business has launched a new management business degree in artificial intelligence that will help fill the talent gap for much-needed managers who can apply AI strategies to business decisions.

Master of Management in Artificial Intelligence
Smith School of Business’ new Master of Management in Artificial Intelligence (MMAI), a first for North America, is focused on the effective management of AI in business.

Smith’s new Master of Management in Artificial Intelligence (MMAI), a first for North America, is focused on the effective management of AI in business. The program is designed specifically for studying the application of artificial intelligence and machine learning in the context of modern business decision-making.

“AI is being considered for every function within organizations, from operations to marketing and customer experience, to finance and forecasting,” says Elspeth Murray, Associate Dean, MBA and Masters Programs, Smith School of Business. “But the challenge is bridging the power of technology with the needs and context of the organization. That requires a new kind of professional with a balance of science and management expertise. That’s why the Master of Management in Artificial Intelligence is so needed today.”

The MMAI content will be delivered by Smith faculty and adjunct faculty from the Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence, a hub of outstanding global talent focused on research excellence in deep learning and machine learning.

Based at SmithToronto, Smith’s state-of-the-art facility in downtown Toronto, the MMAI will start classes in September 2018, subject to approval by the Ontario Universities Quality Council. A 12-month program that students take while they continue to work, classes are held Tuesday evenings and alternate Saturdays, plus two one-week residential sessions in Kingston.

Smith is known for its innovation and leadership in business education. The school has a strong history of recognizing a market need and quickly developing programs – from establishing the first undergraduate business degree a century ago to launching the leading and largest Master of Management Analytics (MMA) in 2013. The MMAI is built on the foundational business and analytics courses of the MMA with the addition of courses in deep learning, natural language processing, AI ethics and policy, reinforcement learning, and an AI capstone project.

“AI will be a core business function for the next generation of business leaders, and we want to graduate business managers who will generate tangible business outcomes from AI,” Dr. Murray says.

To learn more about the Smith School of Business visit smith.queensu.ca.

Making undergraduate orientation more inclusive

The Undergraduate Orientation Review Working Group has submitted 20 recommendations to foster diversity and inclusivity.

Students meet during orientation week activities. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
Students meet during orientation week activities. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)

After six months of consultations and discussions, the Undergraduate Orientation Review Working Group (UORWG) has submitted a number of recommendations designed to ensure Undergraduate Orientation Week is more welcoming and inclusive for all members of the Queen’s community.

“The university will be working to address these important recommendations over the coming year and a half, and I want to thank the working group for their efforts to make orientation week more inclusive,” says Principal and Vice-Chancellor Daniel Woolf. “As an alumnus, I know the importance of both preserving our traditions and updating them to ensure future students are able to fully participate. Our campus is at its best when everyone is engaged, respected, and feels safe – and creating that environment starts with events like undergraduate orientation.”

The UORWG was formed in August 2017 in response to the Principal’s Implementation Committee on Racism, Diversity, and Inclusion (PICRDI) final report. The PICRDI report called on the university to make diversity training available to student leaders, and to examine the policy and content of Undergraduate Orientation Week from a diversity and inclusivity lens.

The Undergraduate Orientation Review Working Group, chaired by Deputy Provost (Academic Operations and Inclusion) Teri Shearer, was mandated to examine all aspects of Queen’s direct-entry undergraduate student orientation experience, including university orientation and the student society orientation activities. The 20 recommendations in this new report were created by a cross-university working group of students, faculty, staff, and alumni, who received input from the community through public consultations.

Orientation leaders warm up and prepare to welcome new students to campus for the first time. (Photo by Lars Hagberg)
Orientation leaders warm up and prepare to welcome new students to campus for the first time. (Photo by Lars Hagberg)

The recommendations, which have been submitted to the Principal, consider not only how student leaders are trained, but also how the university communicates about orientation, ensuring all events are inclusive and aligned with the goals of Undergraduate Orientation Week, and making tools available so students can report incidents of racism, discrimination, or accessibility barriers.

In responding to this report, the university and student societies will also look at how to make Undergraduate Orientation Week more affordable for students, clarify the related oversight and policies, review the content of various orientation chants and cheers, and ensure orientation prepares students to be respectful members of the broader Kingston community.

“We are pleased with the level of engagement and dialogue there has been around the review of Undergraduate Orientation,” says Teri Shearer, Deputy Provost (Academic Operations and Inclusion). “These recommendations are aimed at strengthening the student transition experience by ensuring that it respects and reflects the diversity of the student population, is welcoming and accessible for all students, and fosters, for all members of the incoming class, a sense of belonging at Queen’s.”

The aim is to have a number of the recommendations completed in time for Fall Undergraduate Orientation 2019. To review the full list of recommendations and the final report, visit the Undergraduate Orientation Review Working Group’s website.

UCARE holds first public meeting

Much of the conversation at the University Council on Anti-Racism and Equity (UCARE) public meeting revolved around the university’s progress on two key reports.

What is UCARE?
● A council formed in September 2017 to promote and support the efforts of the university to foster a more diverse and inclusive campus community.
● UCARE comprises faculty, staff, students, and alumni. The group meets three times per year.
● Forming UCARE was a recommendation of the Principal’s Implementation Committee on Racism, Diversity, and Inclusion (PICRDI) final report.
● In February, Stephanie Simpson (Artsci’95, Ed’97, MEd’11) and Mona Rahman (Sc’93, PhD’01) were named UCARE’s first co-chairs.
● For more information on UCARE, visit the council’s webpage.

Dozens of community members gathered in Robert Sutherland Hall on Monday, March 5 to learn about Queen's University’s progress in promoting diversity and inclusivity on campus, to discuss new initiatives, and to identify priorities for the months ahead.

The University Council on Anti-Racism and Equity (UCARE) meeting included updates on two diversity-related reports, an informational presentation on the Aboriginal Council of Queen’s University, and open discussion of the vision and mission for a new centre currently under consideration.

The council received a presentation from Teri Shearer, Deputy Provost (Academic Operations and Inclusion) about progress made in addressing the recommendations of the Principal’s Implementation Committee on Racism, Diversity, and Inclusion (PICRDI) final report, and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) task force final report.

Her updates noted some significant success stories and new initiatives within the Queen’s community. Of note, Dr. Shearer called attention to the recent Ester Margaret Harrison Estate Gift which will support bursaries for Black, racialized, and first generation students – supports recommended in the PICRDI report. Dr. Shearer’s report also noted the support given to, and the success of, Black History Month at Queen’s, as well as a recent ‘open office hour’ discussion event she held in Ban Righ Hall.

On the subject of reconciliation efforts, Dr. Shearer announced that an implementation group was being formed to help ensure that the TRC task force final report recommendations were fulfilled. She also reported on the work that was underway to renovate Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre, and efforts by the Faculty of Arts and Science to find other Indigenous student space on campus.

Teri Shearer, Deputy Provost (Academic Operations and Inclusion) provides an update on the university’s progress on two key diversity reports. (University Communications)
Teri Shearer, Deputy Provost (Academic Operations and Inclusion) provides an update on the university’s progress on two key diversity reports. (University Communications)

In a verbal update, Dr. Shearer mentioned that the final report from the Undergraduate Orientation Review Working Group was recently delivered to Principal Daniel Woolf. This report, which makes several recommendations aimed at making undergraduate orientation week more inclusive, will be shared publicly with the Queen’s community in the near future.

In response to this update, a question was raised around further inclusivity training for orientation leaders as well as staff and faculty. Dr. Shearer, along with Ann Tierney, Vice-Provost and Dean (Student Affairs), mentioned training that is being co-developed by the Equity and Human Rights Offices and Student Affairs. It will be delivered to this year’s orientation leaders.

Dr. Shearer also noted that the university has been briefing the Board of Trustees on key diversity metrics related to students, faculty, and staff, and these numbers will inform the creation of the university’s next strategic framework.

Lastly, she announced the creation of an Inclusive Community newsletter. This new resource will be used to share stories, and help demonstrate how Queen’s is meeting its diversity commitments. The newsletter will also promote related events, and increase communication around diversity and inclusivity on campus.

Teri Shearer, Deputy Provost (Academic Operations and Inclusion) provides an update on the university’s progress on two key diversity reports. (University Communications)
Council Co-Chairs Stephanie Simpson and Mona Rahman lead the discussion at the UCARE meeting. (University Communications)

The bulk of the meeting was spent discussing the proposed Alfie Pierce Centre for Racial Equity and Social Justice, a new centre that was mentioned in the Principal’s Implementation Committee on Racism, Diversity, and Inclusion (PICRDI) final report.

Dr. Shearer has been working to identify space for this centre on campus and conduct consultations with the community. A university-owned and currently unoccupied house on Albert Street has been identified as a possible location. The house is currently undergoing a feasibility study to assess how it could best be adapted into the Alfie Pierce Centre.

The discussion was opened to members of the public, and it began with lively discussions about the proposed name and location. The deputy provost noted the Alfie Pierce name is not final and there are still more discussions to come on the centre and its overall vision.

The students present stressed the need for a space for racialized students, and expressed their hope to see progress on the centre in time for the fall.

The next UCARE meeting, an internal planning meeting, will be held in April.


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