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Introducing our new faculty members: Kristy Timmons

Kristy Timmons (Education) is one of the 41 new faculty members hired in 2017-18 as part of Principal Daniel Woolf's faculty renewal plans. 

This profile is part of a series which will highlight some of the new faculty members who have recently joined the Queen's community as part of the Principal's faculty renewal plans, which will see 200 new faculty members hired over the next five years - approximately 10 net new faculty hires per year.

Kristy Timmons (Education) sat down with the Gazette to talk about her experience so far and how she made it to Queen’s.

Kristy Timmons, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Education. Dr. Timmons joined Queen's in the summer of 2017, part of a faculty renewal program initiated by the Principal. (University Communications)
Kristy Timmons, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Education. Dr. Timmons joined Queen's in the summer of 2017, part of a faculty renewal program initiated by the Principal. (University Communications)

Tell us about yourself and how your first few months at Queen’s have been.

My research and teaching are focused in the area of early child development. I completed my undergraduate degree at Ryerson University in Early Childhood Studies. This experience really taught me the importance of having both theoretical knowledge and practical experiences to truly understand child development. Upon graduation, I pursued graduate studies at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), in the Child Study and Education Master’s program.

I really enjoyed working as a Registered Early Childhood Educator and a Certified teacher. These experiences surfaced a lot more questions than answers about the education field. This lead me to pursue a PhD in Developmental Psychology and Education at OISE/University of Toronto. While completing my doctoral studies I had the opportunity to teach in Higher Education at Ryerson University and the University of Toronto.

While I was writing my dissertation, in the final year of my doctoral work, this position in the Faculty of Education at Queen’s was posted and it really felt like the perfect fit for me.

I have now been in the position since July 1, 2017 and I feel lucky to be at a University where there is so much support for new Faculty. In the Faculty of Education we have a mentorship program and are supported in our transition to Queen’s. This mentorship group includes both formal and informal meetings. I was hired with two other new faculty members, Dr. Lee Airton and Dr. Alana Butler, who I am really fortunate to work with!

Tell us about your research.

Fast facts about Dr. Timmons

  Department: Education

  Hometown: Pickering, Ontario

  Research area: The processes that influence young children’s learning, engagement, and self-regulation

  Favourite kid’s book: Picture a Tree by Barbara Reid

  Dr. Timmons' webpage

My research interests centre on the processes that influence young children’s learning, engagement, and self-regulation. Within this focus, I have carried out research with children, families, and pre- and in-services educators.

My doctoral work examined the influence of educator and child expectations on kindergarten children’s literacy and self-regulation outcomes.

My current research focuses on two additional studies that were informed by findings from my doctoral work. The first is titled, “What is self-regulation anyway? Examination of the ways in which self-regulation is defined and promoted in early years practice and policy documents in Ontario. The second is, “Beyond expectation levels: The influence of educator expectations, beliefs, and practices on children’s learning outcomes in play-based kindergarten classrooms.

Sell us on taking a class with you. 

I am currently teaching four courses in the Consecutive Bachelor of Education Program. I hope to teach a graduate course this fall.

I recently pitched a graduate course on self-regulation and executive functions. Self-regulation has been a research focus in many fields ranging from education to neurobiology to many subfields of psychology. One of the major challenges is that there is no universal definition for self-regulation, and with differing definitions comes varying ways of measuring it.

It is important that teachers are aware of how to support the development of self-regulation. I often talk about co-regulation with students, as self-regulation involves a social component where a parent or teacher can support children in developing skills to be successful at managing their behaviours, impulses, emotions, and thoughts. Think of a group of Kindergarten students sitting on the carpet: one student is trying to talk to another student about their birthday party while the teacher is reading a story aloud to the class. The child has to inhibit their desire of talking to their friend about their birthday party in order to comprehend the story. With older students, the distraction could be looking on Facebook or checking a text message. These are really simple examples but are helpful in thinking about the daily interactions that require self-regulation skills. 

Childrens self-regulatory and attention skills are among the strongest predictors of future academic success. Although educators know the importance of self-regulation development, researchers and teachers alike continue to struggle to understand the complexities of what self-regulation is and how best to support it in a school context. I am hoping to offer a graduate course where we can begin to unpack the complexities of self-regulation and executive functions together.

Dr. Timmons delivers a lecture in "Self-Regulation in Kindergarten Contexts". (University Communications)
Dr. Timmons delivers a lecture in "Self-Regulation in Kindergarten Contexts". (University Communications)

You are teaching teachers so…what are some of the strategies you use in the classroom?

I apply a lot of strategies I used when I was a teacher to my teaching in higher education. It sounds a bit funny, but when you think about it, I am teaching at the Faculty of Education, many of our graduates will become teachers. I try to model strategies and practices that they will use in their classrooms.

I use various teaching approaches into my weekly class structure. I integrate a lecture component with in-class activities and discussions. I often integrate case studies into my lectures, as I find this allows students to reflect on real practice situations. I promote student involvement in the courses I teach through think, pair, and share interactions and small group discussions. I often encourage students to begin discussing concepts in these smaller groups and then ask for a group leader or a member of the partner team to summarize key points that have been discussed.

This past term, I had the opportunity to teach a Foundations of Psychology course where I had over 500 students. This was my first time teaching a large lecture-style class and I am continuing to learn what works and does not work in that teaching context.

Given your interest in early years education…what is your favourite kid's book, and why? And what was your favourite subject in school?

Picture a Tree by Barbara Reid. I like to promote inquiry-based learning methods with students. In one of my classes, before reading the story, I asked the students to picture a tree and then to draw what they were picturing. Some drew a family tree, some drew a Christmas tree, and others had personal stories about a tree they had planted in their backyard or a tree they pass by on their daily run.

I emphasize in my literacy and language course how to use storybooks as a starting point into an exploration. I think these examples demonstrate the unique ideas and perspectives students bring with them to their teaching and learning.

My favourite subject…language arts or social studies. 

Anything you do to unwind?

Since moving to Kingston, I have taken up rock climbing which is something I never tried before. Unwinding for me often involves being active…spinning, weight lifting, and walking my dog. I am looking forward to exploring more of Kingston this summer. I went to Wolfe Island last year but I am hoping to see other islands this year.

What are you most grateful for?

I had an interest in research and teaching in the early years. With this role at Queen’s, I have found a path that brings teaching and research together. From early on, I knew I was interested in teaching yet I always had questions I wanted to explore in a research capacity. I am grateful to be in a position where I get to teach in higher education, work in the early years through my research, and continue to explore questions with the hope of improving the education of our youngest learners.

I am also really grateful to have a loving supportive network of family and friends around me who have supported me in accomplishing my goals. They have provided that extra external motivation when my internal motivation was running low.

I am the only teacher in my family, my brother’s background is in musical theatre and I remember telling him  ‘teaching is my stage’.

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 racialized individuals. It will also build on Queen’s current areas of research strength.

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

Queen’s Engineering Outreach team teaching digital skills

The program has received new CanCode funding to support visits to local schools and First Nations communities.

Kingston and the Islands MP Mark Gerretsen and local grade school students try their hand at some robotics experiments in the Queen's Tinker Trailer. (University Communications)
Kingston and the Islands MP Mark Gerretsen and local grade school students try their hand at some robotics experiments in the Queen's Tech n' Tinker Trailer, a mobile education unit operated by the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science. (University Communications)

Local youth and schools will continue to benefit from technology workshops offered through Queen’s thanks to a recent federal government funding announcement.

Actua, a Canadian charity focused on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education among youth, was the organization that received the largest amount of funding under CanCode, an initiative of the Canadian Ministry of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development. As a member of the Actua network, Queen’s Engineering Outreach will receive $230,000 over the next 18 months.

On hand to celebrate the funding announcement were representatives from Actua, and Kingston and the Islands MP Mark Gerretsen.

“CanCode is our Government’s down payment on Canada’s future. This program will help ensure more young Canadians, of all backgrounds, have the right skills for the jobs of the future. Coding and digital literacy will be the bedrock of future jobs and further study in high-demand STEM fields,” says Mr. Gerretsen.

Representatives from Rideau Heights Public School and Queen's Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science celebrate funding which will allow Queen's to continue to visit schools like Rideau Heights and offer science, technology, engineering, and math programming. (University Communications)
Representatives from Rideau Heights Public School, Actua, and Queen's Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science celebrate the CanCode funding announcement. This funding will allow Queen's to continue to visit schools like Rideau Heights and offer science, technology, engineering, and math programming. (University Communications)

The funds will be used to provide free workshops to grade school students to help them build their digital skills, and expose them to technologies such as coding and robotics. The workshops are offered multiple times per week across the greater Kingston area, and the funding will support programming through to the summer of 2019.

“On behalf of Queen’s, we thank Actua and the federal government for this funding, which will benefit thousands of students in our area,” says Scott Compeau, Outreach Lead with the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science.

“This funding will allow us to continue to partner not only with local schools but also with First Nations communities to engage students in science, technology, engineering, and math-related learning activities,” says Melanie Howard, Director of Aboriginal Access to Engineering.

The Queen’s Engineering Outreach team recently won the “Experience Award: Indigenous Youth in STEM” from Actua. For more information on the Aboriginal Access to Engineering program at Queen’s, visit www.aboriginalaccess.ca

Queen’s family medicine residents participate in unique Falkland Islands rotation

One Queen's family medicine resident will be heading 11,000 kilometres south for a year to help citizens of a remote Commonwealth territory. 

Katherine Soucie, a second-year post-graduate family medicine resident (PGY2), assesses patient Norma Edwards in clinic at the King Edward Memorial VII Hospital (KEMH) in Stanley, the Falkland Islands. (Supplied Photo)
Katherine Soucie, a second-year post-graduate family medicine resident (PGY2), assesses patient Norma Edwards in clinic at the King Edward Memorial VII Hospital (KEMH) in Stanley, the Falkland Islands. (Supplied Photo)

One of the strengths of Queen’s Family Medicine residents is their ability to work almost anywhere. As a part of their two-year residency, these family doctors spend six months of training in a community setting, and at least two of those months are spent in a rural setting.

So, when a remote British overseas territory off the coast of South America found itself in need of medical professionals, a Queen’s alumnus knew exactly where the Falkland Islands’ government could find help.

“Thanks to a connection made by Andrew Pipe (Meds’74) of the Ottawa Heart Institute, Queen’s Family Medicine residents have been taking on placements in the Falkland Islands in recent years as part of a strategy to help the territory meet their need for well-trained family doctors,” says Geoffrey Hodgetts, Enhanced Skills Program Director, Rural Skills Program Coordinator and Kingston Residency Site Director in the School of Medicine.

While the Falklands previously relied on British and foreign-trained physicians, it has been more difficult to attract doctors with the necessary skills to work in a remote setting such as the small island nation, located to the east of South America’s Patagonia coast. Additionally, providing medical care to the population – which is divided up across several islands – requires medical experts who can work in the field with limited equipment.

Queen’s University family medicine residents stay at “Canada House”, which is a typical Falkland Islands house. These accommodations were given the name when the Queen’s University residency program began several years ago. The location is ideally situated near the hospital. (Supplied Photo)
Queen’s University family medicine residents stay at “Canada House”, which is a typical Falkland Islands house. These accommodations were given the name when the Queen’s University residency program began several years ago. The location is ideally situated near the hospital. (Supplied Photo)
Why the Falkland Islands?
● The Falkland Islands are a remotely located British territory with just 3,400 citizens, making it a distinctive environment to gain practical medicine training.
● Providing health care on the islands can be costly as more critically ill patients may require air evacuation to a hospital, and accessing more advanced care can be a challenge.
● Queen’s Family Medicine residents come well prepared for these challenges through their rural and community training.
● The demanding environment helps residents master their skills and meet the requirements of their residency.

Since forming the agreement, approximately six Queen’s family medicine residents per year have headed to the Falkland Islands with one or two residents making the trip at a time. During their rotations, residents work under the direction of the Falkland’s Chief Medical Officer, Rebecca Edwards, and her delegates. 

“We are privileged to work with these skilled, knowledgeable, and experienced young doctors,” says Dr. Edwards. “I am always extremely impressed with the ability of these residents to travel across the globe, to a new country and unknown hospital where medical practices might be unfamiliar, and be able to just get on with the job at hand. The residents seem unfazed by the changes, meeting each new challenge with focus and dedication and asking appropriate questions when needed.”

This rotation gives residents an opportunity to experience the Falkland Islands, and assess their interest in the territory’s available enhanced training scholarship. The scholarship offers a post-graduate third-year training position provided the resident stays for a one-year return of service. Most importantly, it helps the island nation potentially recruit physicians to help meet their needs longer term. 

Belle Song (Meds’15), a Queen’s family medicine graduate, is the first to take advantage of the Falkland Islands’ training scholarship. Dr. Song is currently completing her enhanced rural skills training. When she completes her training later this year, she will work at the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital in the Falkland Islands.

She is already familiar with this setting, as Dr. Song was one of the earliest Queen’s family medicine residents to complete a two-month rotation in the Falkland Islands in 2016.

"From the moment I arrived, I felt that I was a part of the Falklands community. Some of the nurses, pharmacists, radiation techs, and physiotherapists have become close personal friends, and even residents of the island were incredibly welcoming,” she says. “I am certain that this year in the Falklands will help me become a stronger and more confident rural generalist, developing skills that will be useful when I come back to Canada. I've always believed that you can't learn and grow without pushing yourself outside your comfort zone.”

Dr. Geoffrey Hodgetts and Dr. Rebecca Edwards discuss her assessment of a Queen's family medicine resident. Dr. Hodgetts is part of a Queen's delegation currently visiting the Islands. (Supplied Photo)
Dr. Geoffrey Hodgetts and Dr. Rebecca Edwards discuss her assessment of a Queen's family medicine resident during a visit by a Queen's delegation. (Supplied Photo)

While rural medical training is an expectation among Canadian family medicine post-graduate medical programs, Queen’s Department of Family Medicine has had a long tradition of preparing family physicians for practice in various rural and remote settings.

“I know that the residents enjoy their time with us as we have received great feedback, and this is definitely a two-way relationship,” Dr. Edwards adds. “The constant flow of keen, intelligent, up-to-date young doctors that we get to work with and mentor provide our team with fresh and valuable perspectives on clinical scenarios.”

To learn more about the Falkland Islands scholarship for Family Medicine residents, visit the Department of Family Medicine’s website.

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.

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