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Queen's encourages innovation with student competition prize

The City of Kingston and the Dunin-Deshpande Queen's Innovation Centre have partnered to create an additional prize for the Mayor's Innovation Challenge.

Kingston Mayor Bryan Paterson visits the 2017 Queen’s Innovation Centre Summer Initiative (QICSI) participants. (Supplied Photo)
Kingston Mayor Bryan Paterson visits the 2017 Queen’s Innovation Centre Summer Initiative (QICSI) participants. (Supplied Photo)

Building on the strong partnership between the City of Kingston and Queen’s University, the Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre (DDQIC) has stepped forward to sponsor an additional prize for the 2018 Mayor’s Innovation Challenge.

“Modern cities need to consistently innovate to improve the lives of their citizens, and modern universities are always looking for ways to enhance and support their communities," said Benoit-Antoine Bacon, Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic). "In that spirit, Queen’s is very proud to support the Mayor’s Innovation Challenge and to work in partnership with the City to leverage the innovative talents of Kingston’s citizens to address real municipal issues.".

In addition to the opportunity to be awarded a 16-week paid internship with the City to implement their project idea, competing teams of post-secondary students will now also have an opportunity, sponsored by the DDQIC, to receive:

  • a $7,000 stipend per team member for the summer,
  • $4,000 in seed capital for the idea, and
  • access to the entire summer's Queen’s Innovation Centre Summer Initiative (QICSI 2018) programming to accelerate their innovation.

This exciting partnership will create additional opportunities for career development and employment for youth, and facilitate an additional innovative municipal project to be implemented.

“I’m so thrilled that we’ve partnered with Queen’s University and the DDQIC to offer another prize for students as part of the Mayor’s Innovation Challenge,” said Kingston Mayor Bryan Paterson. “We have a great relationship with Queen’s and we both want to help launch our post-secondary students into the workforce by providing paid opportunities to help build their skills and experience. It’s amazing that we will now be able to award two teams with truly unique and potentially life-changing summer experiences.”

The Mayor's Innovation Challenge pitch competition will be held Friday, March 2 between 9:30 am and 12 pm in the Council Chambers at City Hall. The big reveal of the winning teams is expected to take place around 12:45 pm that day.

For more information on the challenge, visit the City's website.

Community-based Queen’s Cares program expands

Students will spend Reading Week supporting local organizations. 

Queen’s Cares participant orientation session
Students participating in the Alternative Reading Week program engage in an orientation session that was hosted by the Student Experience Office. (Communications Staff)

For a growing group of students, Reading Week is about more than just hitting the books. It’s a chance to connect with their peers and the Kingston community in a whole new way.

The Queen’s Cares Alternative Reading Week program is a community-engaged learning initiative, run by the Student Experience Office (SEO) in Student Affairs. It offers students the opportunity to work in teams to complete a project that has been identified as a need by a local community organization.

“Queen’s Cares is about partnerships, collaboration, leadership, personal growth and skill development,” says Kevin Collins, Coordinator, Community-Engaged Learning in the SEO. “Students are encouraged to make connections between what they are bringing to the project and what they learn, and think about how they can apply their new skills and community experience to their studies and to their career path/journey.” 

This year’s community partners include Focus Forward for Indigenous Youth, One Roof Kingston Youth Hub, the Boys and Girls Club, Kingston Community Health Centres’ Change the Conversation, The H’Art School, and KEYS Jobs Centre.

Participants can choose a topic and organization that interests them. Examples this year include creating a resource for Indigenous youth that lists scholarships and funding opportunities across Canada at Focus Forward, while the students based with the H’art School will be working with adults with developmental disabilities on an art exhibition that will be displayed at the upcoming Human Rights Festival at the Isabel.

Since it began three years ago, the program has been growing steadily and this year 30 students from across faculties and schools will take part.

“Queen’s Cares is a truly amazing program that offers a different opportunity for students,” says Julia Witmer (Artsci’18). “The program creates a connection between personal, social and academic growth with community engaged learning, as opposed to typical volunteering. This distinction is important and valuable, as other positions often lack reflection, and skill building and academic connections. I am happy to say this is my third year being involved in the program.”

Next year, the program will include an international opportunity for students.

For more information, visit the Student Experience Office website

Learning Indigenous languages

Practice your “Boozhoo” (how the Anishinaabe say “greetings”) and “Miigwetch” (“thank you”) and learn about Indigenous cultures in a new Queen’s program.

Mishiikenh (Vernon Altiman) leads an Anishinaabemowin class. (University Communications)
Mishiikenh (Vernon Altiman) leads an Anishinaabemowin class. (University Communications)

A new certificate program will provide students with an introduction to three Indigenous languages, while also deepening their knowledge of Indigenous cultures.

Launching this fall, a new Certificate of Indigenous Languages and Culture will provide an introduction to Mohawk, Inuktitut, and the Anishinaabe language – known as Anishinaabemowin, meaning ‘language of the people’.

The certificate brings together existing Indigenous language courses at Queen’s plus new Anishinaabemowin training into a program which can be completed through full-time studies in one year, or part-time over two years. The existing language training tends to attract both Indigenous students seeking to learn more about their history, and non-Indigenous students hoping to better understand Indigenous culture.

“Offering this type of program helps us respond to both the needs of our community and the broader responsibilities we have as an institution,” says Jill Scott, Vice-Provost (Teaching and Learning). “This certificate will assist in revitalizing Indigenous languages and fostering greater understanding of Indigenous cultures and ways of knowing.”

Professors in this program include Mishiikenh (Vernon Altiman), an Elder-in-Residence and Cultural Counsellor at Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre, who teaches Anishinaabemowin; Thanyehténhas (Nathan Brinklow), Lecturer and part-time Chaplain at Queen’s, who teaches the Mohawk language; and Noel McDermott (PhD'15), an Assistant Professor who teaches Inuktitut.

In addition to helping students recognize the three languages and grasp them at a beginner level, the certificate will also include exposure to Indigenous ceremonies, traditions, and contemporary issues. For instance, weather permitting, each Anishinaabemowin class begins with a smudging ceremony held outside Kingston Hall. 

Students introduce themselves in Anishinaabemowin to start each class. (University Communications)
Students introduce themselves in Anishinaabemowin to start each class. (University Communications)

The creation of this certificate program supports the recommendations of both the national Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) report and Queen’s own TRC task force report, both of which call for the creation of “credentialed Indigenous language programs” at post-secondary institutions.

In the future, the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures is working with Tsi Tyonnheht Onkwawenna Language and Culture Centre (TTO) to launch a Mohawk language certificate within the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory. The two-year program would intensively focus on language instruction and would aim to help revitalize the language among the Indigenous community as well as their understanding of the rich Mohawk culture.

“I am very excited by the recent unanimous Senate approval of this new certificate program, and by the prospect of the collaborative certificate in Mohawk Language and Culture,” says Kanonhsyonne (Janice Hill). “I am very happy to see the university taking up the Call to Action and the recommendation in our very own Extending the Rafters report through the further development of Indigenous language offerings. Further, ensuring these programs are credentialed by the university ensures student eligibility for financial assistance and makes these important programs more accessible.”

Applications for this certificate program will open in May. It is expected to attract approximately 10 to 15 students annually. 

Queen’s professor earns 3M honours

Richard Ascough is the universitys ninth faculty member to be named a national teaching fellow.

Richard Asccough
Richard Ascough has been selected as a 3M Teaching Fellow.

Queen’s University professor Richard Ascough has received the prestigious 3M National Teaching Fellowship from the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (STLHE).

Founded in 1986 through a partnership between the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education and 3M Canada, up to ten Canadian academics annually are named fellows, in recognition of excellence in educational leadership and teaching in the post-secondary sector. Dr. Ascough (School of Religion) is the ninth Queen’s professor to be made a 3M Fellow following James Fraser (Physics) in 2017.

 “I find it both humbling and exciting to be selected as a 3M Teaching Fellow as it recognizes my commitment to actively engaging students in their learning contexts and experimenting with innovation in the classroom,” says Dr. Ascough, Associate Dean (Teaching and Learning).

A recent D2L Innovation Award in Teaching and Learning winner, Dr. Ascough has always approached teaching with innovative and unique ideas. In the 1990s, he embraced online learning and has been a change-maker in regards to attitudes towards online course design.

 “Dr. Ascough has been at the leading edge of technology-enhanced learning, leaping into online teaching in the late nineties when instructors had to accept their role as digital pioneers, contending with clunky platforms and sometimes severe skepticism from their academic peers,” says Jill Scott, Vice-Provost (Teaching and Learning). “He has never been satisfied with simply using technology, but has continually pushed the limits of the medium to ensure deep, transformation learning.”

In the classroom, Dr. Ascough creates imaginative, interactive exercises that ignite his students’ passion for learning. Long before active learning classrooms were being constructed, Dr. Ascough began developing exercises that draw students out of their comfort zone and create excitement about learning. Participatory exercises are one of the hallmarks of Dr. Ascough’s teaching.

“Dr. Ascough embodies Queen’s mission as a research-intensive university with a transformative student learning experience,” says Benoit-Antoine Bacon, Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic). “In my experience, every institution has those few individuals who are hugely influential to so many, yet never seek acclaim. Richard is one of those special leaders.”

For more information on the 3M National Teaching Fellowship visit the website.

Student-focused renovations at Mackintosh-Corry Hall

New spaces are part of ongoing classroom renewal and feature study spaces and student-focused classrooms.

When renovations were conceived for the south end of Mackintosh-Corry Hall (Mac-Corry) in the summer of 2017, it was a chance to rethink the way traditional classrooms are designed.

The result is a modern, research-based collection of student learning spaces. Three active learning classrooms in Mac-Corry include one large room on the first floor and two flexible seating seminar rooms on the third floor, as well as group study spaces carved out from the hallway, where rows of lockers used to stand. These study spaces surround the new home of the Department of Geography and Planning.

“Classroom renewal as we’ve seen here is crucial to support our faculty as they continue to push the boundaries of innovation in course design in the classroom,” said Principal Woolf at the celebration of the new student street on Jan. 31. “As someone who used to study sitting on the radiator around the corner, it’s fantastic to see these new study spaces for students. I take a special interest in the new classroom renovations, given that I will soon be returning fulltime to the classroom and almost certainly teaching in some of these rooms.”

Principal Woolf thanked the teams at Physical Plant Services, Audio-Visual Services, the construction and design teams, and the teaching and learning space working group.

“As soon as these new study spaces were opened, they were full,” said Jill Scott, vice-provost (teaching and learning). “I think this is something we need to pay attention to, because as we change the way we learn, we also need to change and transform the nature of the student study spaces that we have, and we need more of them.”

Katie Goldie, assistant professor with the Queen’s School of Nursing, began using the new classrooms in Mac-Corry in the fall semester.

“I designed a course to use this new space, as I know it’s hard for a large group of student to listen to three hours of lecture,” says Dr. Goldie. “The active learning classroom in Mac-Corry allowed me to design more innovative, engaging classroom exercises that stimulated and re-enforced learning. For example, in one class after teaching content, students moved to the active space and were presented with a real life clinical case to work through in small groups. They also participated in a virtual reality clinical simulation, and were dialed into experts via Google Hangouts from another university. The design of the new classrooms encouraged and enabled the students to debrief afterwards with one another. I think this made a large class feel more personal.”

The renovations to the student street in Mac-Corry are one piece of a larger student-oriented revitalization. Recent renovations also include low- and high-tech classrooms in Kingston Hall and Ellis Hall. Upcoming renovations in 2018 include:

  • Biosciences 1102 and 1103 will be renovated to become a new lecture theatre,
  • Convocation Hall will be renovated, and will have a capacity of 140,
  • Ellis Hall 324/327 will become an active learning room with a capacity of 120,
  • Ellis 226 will become an active learning room with a capacity of 60, and
  • the Innovation and Wellness Centre will include three active learning style rooms for the engineering faculty, each with a capacity of 80.

Find out more about active learning classrooms and the research behind them on the Active Learning Spaces website

  • Jill Scott, vice-provost (teaching and learning), began the celebration by sharing how the project incorporated a research-based approach to the design of the new classrooms. (Photo: University Communications)
    Jill Scott, vice-provost (teaching and learning), began the celebration by sharing how the project incorporated a research-based approach to the design of the new classrooms. (Photo: University Communications)
  • Principal Daniel Woolf shared his experiences as a student when Mac-Corry was still a new building, and how important improving student learning facilities like study spaces and classrooms is to Queen’s. (Photo: University Communications)
    Principal Daniel Woolf shared his experiences as a student when Mac-Corry was still a new building, and how important improving student learning facilities like study spaces and classrooms is to Queen’s. (Photo: University Communications)
  • One of the new classrooms at Mac-Corry, across from the Department of Geography and Planning, includes modern amenities and a collaborative atmosphere. (Photo: Active Learning Spaces)
    One of the new classrooms at Mac-Corry, across from the Department of Geography and Planning, includes modern amenities and a collaborative atmosphere. (Photo: Active Learning Spaces)
  • Faculty members participate in a workshop in the high-tech, team-based learning classroom Ellis 333. (Photo: Active Learning Spaces)
    Faculty members participate in a workshop in the high-tech, team-based learning classroom Ellis 333. (Photo: Active Learning Spaces)
  • Students work in the new study areas in Mac-Corry with access to glass whiteboards, room for group meetings and lots of electric outlets. The space used to be lined with lockers. (Photo: University Communications)
    Students work in the new study areas in Mac-Corry with access to glass whiteboards, room for group meetings and lots of electric outlets. The space used to be lined with lockers. (Photo: University Communications)
  • Before and after: Construction of the new study spaces began in the summer of 2017. (Photo: Physical Plant Services)
    Before and after: Construction of the new study spaces began in the summer of 2017. (Photo: Physical Plant Services)

Bringing Queen’s engineering students together

The Innovation and Wellness Centre will be home to a range of engineering facilities, including labs, teaching studios, and a common room.

Engineering and Applied Science students will be spending a lot of time in the Innovation and Wellness Centre (IWC) when it opens next academic year.

The Innovation and Wellness Centre will feature a common lounge for undergraduate mechanical and materials engineering students, something that they have not had before. (Supplied Photo)
The Innovation and Wellness Centre will feature a common lounge for undergraduate mechanical and materials engineering students, something that they have not had before. (Supplied Photo)

The new facility will bring together several mechanical and materials engineering program areas on campus into one new and modern space. It will also add new resources for undergraduate engineering students.

“This leading-edge facility will uniquely bring together innovative undergraduate teaching facilities, world-leading research facilities, and innovation programming in one space,” says Kevin Deluzio, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science. “New undergraduate teaching and design studios, interdisciplinary research clusters, and flexible innovation space within the IWC will bring together professors, undergraduate, and graduate students in a way that builds community and fosters new ideas.”

The engineering facilities will be located on the second and third floors of the IWC. The second floor will feature an interdisciplinary mechatronics laboratory where mechanical and electrical engineers will be able to work together, an undergraduate common room, a rapid prototyping lab, and three engineering teaching studios. Rather than individual seating, the studios emphasize collaboration by grouping students in tables of four to eight. Each studio will accommodate about 80 students, and the walls can be moved to create one large studio.

On the third floor, you will find the IWC’s research labs. The Beaty Water Research Centre will include four wet labs, where chemical and civil engineering students and faculty will handle hazardous materials and conduct research. The facility will bring together water researchers from across the university, supporting 40 graduate students and 12 faculty members.

The Beaty Water Research Centre will be located on the third floor, featuring labs and meeting space. (Supplied Photo)
The Beaty Water Research Centre will be located on the third floor, featuring labs and meeting space. (Supplied Photo)

The third floor will also include brand new labs dedicated to studying human-machine collaboration. A dozen faculty members will be based out of this space, along with up to 40 graduate students. The Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science is currently recruiting five new academics specializing in disciplines such as machine learning, data mining, and smart prosthetics, aligning with the Principal’s faculty renewal plans.  

What's in the IWC?
A holistic view of wellness
A home for innovation
● Learn more on the Innovation and Wellness Centre website

“This focus on human-machine collaboration will provide an opportunity for Queen’s Engineering and Applied Science to lead the country in this increasingly important field,” says Brian Surgenor, a professor in the Mechanical and Materials Engineering department who is helping to coordinate the design of the IWC’s engineering space. “Coupled with the renovated spaces for our undergraduate students, the IWC will provide a significant enhancement to the student experience and our Faculty’s research leadership.”

The creation of the IWC was made possible through $55 million in philanthropic support, with a significant portion donated by Queen’s engineering alumni. In addition, the federal and Ontario governments contributed a combined total of nearly $22 million to this facility.

To learn more about the Innovation and Wellness Centre, visit the centre’s website. The centre is scheduled to open in Fall 2018.

New bursaries to support racialized and first-generation students

An estate gift will create new bursaries for first-year Black Canadian students, first-year visible minority and racialized students, and first-year first-generation students.

A Queen’s education will soon become more accessible to students who might otherwise not have the opportunity to enroll.

A variety performances by clubs and individuals on campus and in the Kingston community were showcased at the annual ACSA Culture Show in 2017. (Photo by Bernard Clark)
A variety performances by clubs and individuals on campus and in the Kingston community were showcased at the annual ACSA Culture Show in 2017. (Photo by Bernard Clark)

A $2.2 million estate gift provided by the late Ester Margaret Harrison will be used to create bursaries for academically qualified first-year students from equity-seeking groups who demonstrate a financial need.

“We are thankful for this meaningful and impactful gift which will support many qualified students during their time at Queen’s,” says Teri Shearer, Deputy Provost (Academic Operations and Inclusion). “These new awards will help us to increase recruitment and retention of students from under-represented groups, thereby building a more diverse campus community and enhancing our academic mission and student experience.”

Ensuring the availability of targeted financial support for racialized students is a recommendation of the Principal’s Implementation Committee on Racism, Diversity, and Inclusion (PICRDI) final report.

“We understand there is still more to do to satisfy the recommendations of the PICRDI report regarding the role of philanthropy at our university,” says Tom Harris, Vice-Principal (Advancement). “We continue to work closely with Deputy Provost Shearer to identify new opportunities where we can leverage philanthropy to further support these important recommendations.”

Ms. Harrison was the daughter of Dr. John Featherston (MD 1905), a Kingston-based physician and professor of Anatomy in the Queen’s Faculty of Medicine.  Ms. Harrison specified in her will that her estate would be used to support students in need. Although Ms. Harrison died in 1974, Queen’s was only eligible to receive its interest in her estate after other conditions in her will were satisfied. Student Affairs, in consultation with Advancement and the Human Rights and Equity Offices, drafted the terms of the awards based on the designation in Ms. Harrison's will.

Forty-five percent of the funds will be directed to the Ester Margaret Harrison Awards for Black Canadian Students. Another forty-five percent will be directed to the Ester Margaret Harrison Awards for Visible Minority/Racialized Students. Both of these awards are worth $5,000 and will be annually renewable. Each award will support up to nine new first-year students each year.

The remaining 10 per cent will go to the Ester Margaret Harrison Award for First-Generation Students, a one-time award of $1,000 to students who are the first in their family to attend university as they enter the first year of any undergraduate degree program. The first of these new awards should be disbursed this fall.

To learn more about funding and awards, please visit the Student Affairs website.

Building the mental health conversation on campus

The annual Bell Let’s Talk Day activities on campus engaged students, faculty, staff, and the community.

Mental health affects us all, and Jan. 31 has become Canada’s most significant day to reflect on the impact mental health matters can have on all Canadians.

  • Queen’s students take part in a flash mob at the Queen’s Centre on Bell Let’s Talk Day.
    Queen’s students perform a dance routine during a flash mob at the Queen’s Centre on Wednesday, Jan. 31, in recognition of Bell Let’s Talk Day. Booths were set up to help promote the day’s events at the university and mental health resources.
  • Athletics and Recreation distributed 600 blue 'Bell Let's Talk' toques to the crowd during Friday's basketball games. (Photo by Jason Scourse)
    Athletics and Recreation distributed 600 blue 'Bell Let's Talk' toques to the crowd during Friday's basketball games. (Photo by Jason Scourse)
  • The Gaels women's basketball team plays Laurentian on Friday, Jan 26
    The Queen's Gaels women's basketball came up with a big win against the Laurentian Voyageurs on Friday, Jan. 26 during the annual #BellLetsTalk game. (Photo by Jason Scourse)

Bell Let’s Talk Day was observed on campus on Wednesday with education booths, plenty of social media activity, and a surprise flash mob in the Athletics and Recreation Complex (ARC). This followed the Queen's Gaels hosting special events in support of mental health awareness and Bell Let’s Talk during the women and men’s home basketball games on Friday, Jan. 26.

“Our hope is our message is clear through all of our Bell Let’s Talk Day activities and every day of the year: that support is available for those struggling with mental health challenges, and it is important to reach out for help,” says Ann Tierney, Vice Provost and Dean of Student Affairs. “We are pleased to see continued high levels of engagement in Bell’s Let’s Talk among our student athletes, and the entire campus community. We encourage everyone to continue these meaningful conversations all year round.”

Last week, it was announced the Bell Let’s Talk campus campaign was expanded to 128 university and college campuses across Canada. Additionally, Heather Stuart, the inaugural Bell Canada Mental Health and Anti-Stigma Chair at Queen’s, participated in a television advertising campaign with Bell to spread five tips to help reduce mental health stigma.

On Monday, Bell and The Rossy Family Foundation announced a joint $1 million donation for the creation of a national standard for post-secondary student mental health to support student success on campuses across Canada. The new standard will establish mental health best practices at Canadian universities, colleges, and institutes to support student mental health and academic success and developed in collaboration with students, staff and faculty. At Queen’s, funding from the Rossy Family Foundation supports embedded counsellors and the Q Success first-year student transition program.                        

On Bell Let’s Talk Day, Bell supports mental health initiatives in Canada by contributing 5¢ for every applicable text, call, tweet, social media video view, and use of their Facebook frame or Snapchat filter.

Visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk to find out more about the initiative and this year’s national campaign.

Changing the cannabis conversation

Queen’s University business students create unique campaigns to educate high school students about marijuana use.

With the upcoming legalization of marijuana in Ontario, three groups of Queen’s University marketing students have created three unique marketing campaigns to help educate young people around the dangers of marijuana use.

Students of professors Oyedeji Ayonrinde (Psychiatry) and John-Kurt Pliniussen (Smith School of Business) studied the issues surrounding the legalization of marijuana and determined high school-aged students were most at risk. From there, they teamed up to create social media campaigns aimed at helping students in Eastern Ontario make informed decisions about marijuana use.

The students formed work groups called Disjointed, Legit Services, and Project Flux and each produced a YouTube video and a written report explaining their project.

Dr. Pliniussen encourages his marketing students to apply their learnings to real life projects that have social value and which also helps students enhance their digital marketing skills.

“A partnership like this with Dr. Ayonrinde is a perfect example of the kind of academic synergies Queen’s is noted for," he says. "I look forward to having our marketing students work with other academic units in the future.”

Lisa Xiong and Sara Majeed
Lisa Xiong and Sara Majeed were part of the "we all know a Rachael" project. (University Communications)

Project Flux created a campaign called we all know a Rachael. The team, featuring Anton Tsyhanok, Lisa Xiong, Safa Majeed, Delyth Phan, and Stefan Negus, created an Instagram persona for a fictional 17-year-old named Rachael. Through a number of posts, her character was crafted as an average high school student, with added elements exploring the potential dangers of cannabis use.

Each of the projects were broken down into components featuring a video, public education talks, apps, and websites. Dr. Ayonrinde is exploring funding from the Health Canada public education fund as well as discussing the potential with Public Health to move the projects forward to both local and national levels.

“A lot of campaigns out there can be easily overlooked because high school students don’t identify with them,” explains Ms. Xiong. “Ours is a more subtle approach. The students learn who Rachael is, they watch her posts, and they start to identify with her as a person first. They build a connection.”

Ms. Majeed adds that a lot of high school students are unaware of the health risks associated with using marijuana, including addiction. In 2017, about 20 per cent of high school students in Eastern Ontario had used marijuana in the past year. Specifically, 36.9 per cent of Grade 12 students in Ontario had used in the past year. The upcoming legalization places pressure on society to become aware of the consequences that may follow the recreational use of cannabis.

The Disjointed team, featuring Duncan Chisholm, Emma Henry, Meghan McKeown, Jenna Smallegange, and Allison Stewart, produced a video in which they asked members of the university community about their experiences, perceptions, and opinions on marijuana. The video showcases a number of common misconceptions about marijuana and highlights important medical findings.

The Legit Services team developed the slogan “What’s Your High?” and filmed a video featuring young people engaging in thrilling activities designed to give them a natural high without the use of drugs. It showed a “high” doesn’t have to come from marijuana. Team members included Emily Coleman, Vinesh Prathap Das, Thomas Hardy, Matthew Krutkiewicz, and Rachel Wong.

Dr. Ayonrinde is the Medical Director of the Heads Up! Programan early psychosis intervention program based at Hotel Dieu Hospital. Its interdisciplinary team provides services to persons 14 to 35 years of age who are experiencing their first episode of psychosis or who have not yet received treatment for psychosis. He notes many of his young patients’ psychosis is triggered by drug use, specifically marijuana.

Dr. Ayonrinde called the projects “innovative” and is excited to develop the students’ work to the next stages in conjunction with Dr. Pliniussen at the Smith School of Business.

“Marijuana becomes legal July 1 and that legalization will permeate all parts of society,” he says. “We need to get in front of this. We need to educate. There is still so much work to do. Society isn’t ready.”

Introducing our new faculty members: Felicia Magpantay

Queen’s has committed to hiring 200 new faculty members over the next five years. Meet Felicia Magpantay, one of the new members of our community.

Felicia Magpantay is one of the 41 new faculty members hired in 2017-18 as part of Principal Daniel Woolf's faculty renewal plans. The Principal's five-year plan will see 200 new faculty members hired over the next five years, which will mean approximately 10 net new faculty hires per year.

This profile is the first in a series which will highlight these new faculty members, like Dr. Magpantay, who have recently joined the Queen's community. She sat down with the Gazette to talk about her experience so far and how she made it to Queen’s.

[Felicia Magpantay]
Felicia Magpantay joined Queen's in the summer of 2017 as an assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. (Supplied Photo)

Fast facts about Dr. Magpantay

  Department: Mathematics and Statistics

  Hometown: Metro Manila, Philippines

  Research area: Delay differential equation and mathematical biology

  Recent books Dr. Magpantay has enjoyed: Ordinary Light by Tracy K. Smith, and The Return by Hisham Matar

  Favourite quote:Ang hindi marunong lumingon sa pinanggalingan ay hindi makararating sa kanyang paroroonan.” “He who does not look back at where he came from will never get to where he is going.”

  Dr. Magpantay's webpage

Tell us a little about yourself and why you decided to get into teaching.
I grew up in the Philippines. Before I came to Canada my only experiences abroad were traveling to Bali and Taipei for the International Physics Olympiad. Meeting so many people from around the world encouraged me to dream about going abroad for my university degree.
I didn’t really think it would happen, but I applied to schools in Canada and received an international scholarship to attend Trent University. I majored in math and physics and eventually decided to go to graduate school in applied math. I went to Western for my masters and McGill for my doctorate. I did a one-year post-doc at York, and two years at the University of Michigan. I accepted my first faculty position at the University of Manitoba in 2015, then moved to Queen’s in 2017. I really enjoyed being in Winnipeg, but Queen’s was overall a better place for me for many reasons including personal reasons.
My father is a retired physics professor in the Philippines. He grew up in a squatter’s area, the 11th of 11 children. His parents did not complete much schooling, but they always understood the value of education. He was able to go to school on science scholarships and eventually completed his PhD at Purdue University. He went back to serve as a professor in the Philippines in the 1980s.
Tell us a bit about your research.
My PhD dissertation was on delay differential equations and numerical analysis. While completing my postdocs, I started working on mathematical biology – basically using mathematical tools to study biological problems.
My current research looks at how diseases spread in a population. This helps us find ways to explain how control efforts, such as mass vaccination with different types of vaccines, can have different ramifications for the population.

Right now I’m still more comfortable teaching smaller classes where I can use the blackboard, and check in with the students during a lecture to make sure they understand – working at their pace, going through the theorems, and using a lot of examples.

Dr. Magpantay writes on a blackboard in Jeffery Hall
Dr. Magpantay writes on a blackboard in Jeffery Hall. (University Communications)
What is your proudest accomplishment so far?
Getting here! When I became a professor in Manitoba, a friend wrote an article celebrating my hiring. It is not very common for Filipinos to become professors.
A common joke is that Filipino parents all want their kids to go into something stable, such as nursing. Many Filipinos also come to Canada through the Live-In Caregiver program. Both of those professions are very honorable and provide important services to society. But there are lots of different jobs out there and so, while I was reluctant to be featured as a ‘role model’ in that article, I recognized the importance of showing people that Filipinos can have a whole variety of careers, including academia.
Dr. Magpantay writes on a blackboard in Jeffrey Hall. (University Communications)
Dr. Magpantay writes on a blackboard in Jeffery Hall. (University Communications)
Tell us about your teaching style.
In the fall term, I was assigned to teach a calculus class of more than 600 students. That was by far the largest class I had ever taught and it was quite a challenge. I think it will be an asset to learn how to teach such big classes and how to manage that many students. I am still learning.
Right now I’m still more comfortable teaching smaller classes where I can use the blackboard, and check in with the students during a lecture to make sure they understand – working at their pace, going through the theorems, and using a lot of examples.
Anything you do to unwind?
I used to dance salsa and I haven’t since moving to Kingston – there was too much to do and it takes me a while to adjust to a new place. I also used to dance tango and ballet recreationally. Hopefully once I am more settled in I can resume that in the future.
What do you feel most grateful for?
I come from the Philippines, which is still a developing country, and my whole family is still there. I was lucky to be born into a middle-class family who supported me and taught me to value my education early.
I am lucky to be here – most people in the Philippines would not have the chance to pursue the path I did.

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 will see 200 new faculty hired, which nearly doubles the hiring pace of the past six years and will result in approximately 10 net new hires per year.

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 visible minorities. It will also build on Queen’s current areas of research strength.

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

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