For the second year in a row, the Queen’s Gazette and I have different opinions on their top stories of 2017. While they continue to focus on large scale achievements, awards, reports, and buildings, it’s the articles that tell the stories of the students, staff, and faculty who make up Queen’s that continue to be my favourites.
- Queen’s Engineer Returns to Graduate After 70 Years: Bruce Jameson left Queen’s in 1947 without graduating; he was just one credit short of receiving his degree. This fall, he finally walked across the stage after his grandson convinced the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science to waive the credit and grant the degree.
- Spooky Stories from a 500-Year Old Castle: The BISC is haunted, and this Gazette story tells the tale. Could we have asked for a better Halloween story than this?
- Heading to the Hill: Every January, hundreds of Queen’s students descend on the House of Commons to participate in Queen’s Model Parliament. From its humble beginnings in Grant Hall, to the students and alumni that are involved today, this article does an excellent job at exploring the conference’s 70-year history.
- Real World Learning, Real World Impact: QUIP intern Connor Reed (Sc’18) is doing his internship with the energy management department within PPS (because that’s a thing), and has been responsible for $750 000 decisions. Yikes.
- Taking Records Management to the Next Level: Deep behind the scenes at Queen’s, there are people in charge of records management. Financial records, health and safety records, human resources records; there are boxes upon boxes of these sitting in a warehouse in north Kingston, and someone knows exactly where everything is.
- ‘Just Ask Aphra’: Aphra Rogers might just be the most well-known employee in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, and is a well-deserving recipient of the Michael Condra Outstanding Student Service Award. If you don’t know that already (because you know her too, right?), this profile should convince you.
- Inside Look: Undefeated, undaunted Gaels: The Gaels women’s basketball team was 16 – 0 heading into their final stretch of OUA regular season play. This article tells you everything you could possibly want to know about the team- and is interesting even to someone who knows nothing about basketball.
- A Taste of Canadian History: Every history class I’ve ever taken made me learn about history from a textbook. In Steven Maynard’s HIST312 class, they explored history by looking through old cookbooks. (more)
- Speaking Out to Help Others: In 2015, Queen’s student Nadia Povov was battling for a spot on the Olympic women’s rugby sevens team. But she was also fighting a battle with depression, and she decided to share her story through a CBC Sports blog this year.
- Leader of Four Directions, Clan Mother, and Mentor to Many: She helped start the Aboriginal Teacher Education Program, established a private high school rooted in Haudenosaunee culture, served as academic dean at First Nations Technical Institute, has been a Clan Mother for over 30 years, and has served as director of the Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre. With an entire career focused on Aboriginal education, Janice Hill isn’t done yet.
- On the Road Again: When Janessa Gerhardt, a Napanee teenager with cerebral palsy, couldn’t find a bike that would suit her range of motion, Claire Davies and her Building and Designing Assistive Technology Lab built one that worked.
- Running to Give Back: Kyla Tozer became a runner as part of her recovery from a brain tumour. Now, the Queen’s Life Sciences student is organizing the Neuro Half Marathon and 5K to raise funds for the neurosurgery department at the Kingston General Hospital.
- From Accident to Advocacy, Alumna Leaves Mark on Queen’s: As the first quadriplegic to live in residence at Queen’s, alumna Katie Charboneau began by advocating for herself. But she quickly got involved in all sorts of advocacy projects, and has made a significant difference in accessibility on campus.
I can’t help but brag about the work we did in the Student Experience Office this year too. We doubled participation in Queen’s Cares, our community-engaged learning program, had a record number of students and parents/supporters attend our summer orientation program, SOAR, and strengthened our summer webinar program. We hit the ground running in the fall, beginning with three days of orientation programming, including a presentation by Farrah Khan. Q Success, our first-year transition program, expanded from six weeks to the full year. And we launched our revitalized common reading program, distributing over 4000 copies of The Break to students, staff, and faculty, and hosting a panel exploring Canadian identity in light of Canada 150.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t also mention some of the other great work happening throughout Student Affairs this year, much of which was covered by the Gazette.
- Across the Division, peer programs collaborated to celebrate our peers during Peer Week, piloted our first ever shared training day, and celebrated again at our annual awards ceremony.
- The DSA’s Bystander Intervention Program grew to incorporate a more intersectional lens and a new train-the-trainer model, and also added an online pledge.
- Residence Life welcomed more than 4200 first-year students to their new home, and launched the inaugural Indigenous & Allies living-learning community.
- QUIC enhanced their World Link program to promote intercultural dialogue between international and domestic students.
- The Chaplain’s Office launched Cooking with Grandma’s, teaching students how to get the most out of their food budget while also helping them connect to elders.
- Career Services launched the Experiential Learning Hub, received the Excellence in Innovation (Student Engagement) Award from the Canadian Association of Career Educators and Employers (CACEE) for the It All Adds Up campaign, and, according to a recent national study, boasts one of the most impressive models of career services among Canadian universities and colleges.
- While Four Directions spent a lot of time helping with the TRC task force, they also launched their new self-identification mechanism, hired a new cultural counsellor/Elder, and worked on plans to double the size of their space.
- Health Promotion created Project Happy, raised the ‘red flag’ to raise awareness of dating violence, and hosted Rethink the Drink.
- Off the fields and courts, Athletics and Recreation participated in Bell Let’s Talk Day, recognized 360 varsity student-athletes as Academic All-Stars, partnered with Pathways to Education to create mentorship and educational opportunities for local high school students, and partnered with the library to offer a designated movement space within Stauffer during exams.