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Queen’s student joins Canada 150 sea expedition

"Queen's student Thomas Dymond explains the Canada C3's route through the Northwest Passage"
Thomas Dymond makes a presentation on the Canada C3 project, a 150-day excursion aboard a refitted icebreaker from Toronto to Victoria through the Northwest Passage. Mr Dymond will be aboard the ship July 22 to July 29. (Photo by Andrew Van Overbeke)

One of Queen’s own has been selected to take part in a high profile expedition this summer as part of the Canada 150 project.

Thomas Dymond, a second-year student at the School of Medicine, says he is excited for the opportunity to work with the Canada C3 project, a 150-day excursion aboard a refitted icebreaker, as it sails from Toronto to Victoria through the Northwest Passage.

 The journey, Mr. Dymond says, is about engaging Canadians from coast to coast to coast: the three Cs which give the expedition its name.

“It’s about bringing people together and exposing different people to different parts of Canada, parts they wouldn’t otherwise get to see,” he says.

Mr. Dymond will be boarding the expedition from July 22 to July 29 as it travels its sixth leg from Nain, Newfoundland and Labrador, to Iqaluit, Nunavut. He will be joined by youth ambassadors like himself, as well as scientists, artists, and Indigenous elders, among others, each with a different representative role to play.

Of Mi’kmaq heritage and the recent recipient of a national Indspire Award for outstanding Indigenous youth advocacy, Mr. Dymond sees his role, first and foremost, as being a positive representative of his diverse identities.

“Regardless if I intend to only represent myself on this journey, I am still going to be looked on as an Indigenous person, as a youth, and as a medical student, and so I need to respect my representation of those identities,” he says.

As an Indigenous youth in particular, Mr. Dymond feels that his participation in the C3 expedition is an opportunity to promote conversation about the Canada 150 project and interact with the Indigenous resistance movement surrounding it.

“It will be challenging at times to go into places that may not be welcoming of the project. I am trying to go into this experience with an open mind and facilitate some of these difficult conversations,” he says, “We’re going into communities, many of which are Indigenous, to listen to their stories. We are not going there to shape those communities, but to learn from and be shaped by them.”

To Mr. Dymond, such a conversation means discussing the negatives of Canada’s colonial history, while also highlighting the achievements of the Indigenous population.

“I think it’s important for the conversation to include the movers and shakers, the people protesting Canada 150. But also to have the other side of it, the Indigenous population who believe that they can celebrate Canada 150 because it means that they are still present and thriving and are part of the movement towards reconciliation,” he says.

Mr. Dymond says it has been difficult for him to find positive representation of his community in the media. Ultimately, he hopes that by participating in this project he will be able to shed light on the prosperity of Aboriginal Canadians.

“I feel like most of the time, the media is so focused on the issues that Indigenous communities face,” says Mr. Dymond, “My hope for this project is to have positive experiences that I can then share at home and with Canada.”

As a part of this goal, Mr. Dymond will be broadcasting his Canada C3 experience through his personal social media accounts. To stay updated on his journey, visit him on Twitter and Instagram at @tdymond91.

Entrepreneurial bootcamp seeking fall applicants

GrindSpaceXL participants listen in during a workshop at Innovation Park.

You may have a great business idea, and the passion and drive to see it through. But you might need some help taking it to the next level. Where do you turn?

For eight lucky entrepreneurs, there’s twelve-week bootcamp starting soon which will give them the foundational knowledge they need to help their business succeed. GrindspaceXL Kingston, a business acceleration program for high-potential technology startups in Eastern Ontario, is now accepting applications for its fall cohort. The program is offered by the Queen’s University Office of Partnerships and Innovation and Launch Lab, a regional innovation centre that is part of the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE) funded by the Ontario government.

“GrindSpaceXL is an important part of the programming offered at Innovation Park to support the innovation ecosystem in Eastern Ontario, aligning with our efforts to mentor and guide entrepreneurs to bring new products to the market,” says Jim Banting, ‎Assistant Vice-Principal (Partnerships and Innovation).

GrindSpaceXL is designed to connect budding first-time entrepreneurs with advice, mentorship, and support from seasoned business leaders, coupled with a full suite of services available through Queen’s University – from shared lab and office space at Innovation Park, to the expertise and services of the Office of Partnerships and Innovation, to legal services from the Queen’s Business Law Clinic, to name just a few.

The program is open to incorporated companies headquartered and operating in Canada and commercializing technology-based products. Successful applicants are coached from prototype to product to revenue through a customized bootcamp designed to prepare them to compete in the world of business. Entrepreneurs do not need to be affiliated with Queen’s University in order to participate.

“More than 40 companies have graduated from GrindSpaceXL, with many experiencing growth and success thanks in part to the coaching they received during their time in the program,” says Rick Boswell, Assistant Director, Industry Partnerships and Innovation Park. “With this fall’s new cohort of entrepreneurs set to begin soon, we look forward to adding to our growing list of successful alumni.”

Each GrindSpaceXL cohort is tailored to its participants who often ‘don’t know what they don’t know’, adds Mr. Boswell. Topics covered can include developing a business model, building marketing strategies and product positioning, forming a corporate structure, and crafting a compelling pitch for prospective investors and for media. The content is delivered one day a week, allowing the business founders time to continue running their business and to apply the lessons in between workshops.

At the end of the program, the entrepreneurs graduate and are given the chance to pitch before a panel of leaders and investors from the local startup ecosystem.

“From customer discovery to product validation, from business model canvas development to due diligence consideration, intellectual property information, finance and investment thoughts, and pitching help and practice, this program was just what I needed,” says Lisa Hallsworth, Co-Founder & President, Rillea Technologies Inc., an organization focused on chemical safety that was a 2016 participant in GrindSpaceXL.

Though the program itself lasts 12 weeks, the support doesn’t end there.  Mr. Boswell says once the bootcamp is complete, participating companies are still able to connect with all of the same services such as Launch Lab, the Office of Partnerships and Innovation, and the Queen’s Business Law Clinic. They can connect virtually – as one of last year’s participants did – or become a client within Innovation Park’s physical incubation space, where seven of last year’s GrindSpaceXL participants chose to locate.

This fall’s bootcamp begins September 11. There is no cost to apply or to participate. Interested in learning more, or in applying to GrindSpaceXL? Visit www.GrindSpaceXL.com.

GrindSpaceXL is funded by Queen’s University which receives partial reimbursement through the Canada Accelerator and Incubator Program.

Steam shutdown for John Deutsch University Centre July 17

A steam shutdown is scheduled for the John Deutsch University Centre on Monday, July 17 between 6:30 am and 2 pm to permit a contractor to work on the steam piping in mechanical room 071.

This shutdown will affect the entire building, including Grad Residence, and will result in there being no steam for building hot water and other steam reliant systems.  There will be a small reserve of hot water for Grad Residence and the public areas of the original building at the start of the shutdown period; however, once this reserve is depleted, there will be no hot water available for occupants until the steam is restored shortly at 2 pm. An electric domestic hot water tank will supply hot water to the Campus Dentist and Luce Salon during the shutdown period.

Any questions regarding this planned shutdown should be directed to Fixit at ext. 77301 or by email.

UPDATE: Water service interruption for Dupuis Hall rescheduled to Monday, July 24

The water service interruption originally scheduled for Dupuis Hall on Thursday, July 20 has been rescheduled to Monday, July 24 between 7 am and 10 pm to permit contractors, working on behalf of Physical Plant Services, to replace the main water service to the building.

Special notes relating to this service interruption:

  1. There will not be domestic water for flushing toilets, hand washing, safety showers, eye wash stations, lab or kitchen use, etc. Please plan operational activities accordingly.
  2. The sprinkler system will be impaired, so a fire watch will be in effect from 7 am until 10 pm. The fire watch permits continued occupancy of the building while work is in progress. If fire or smoke conditions are discovered, please proceed to the nearest fire alarm pull station, pull the alarm to activate the fire bells and then evacuate the building via the nearest safe exit – do not use the elevator – and go to your designated meeting location as per your departmental fire plan.
  3. Occupants should be re-directed to nearby buildings (e.g. Beamish-Munro Hall, Goodwin Hall or School of Kinesiology and Health Studies) for washroom facilities and drinking fountains.

Once water service is restored, there may be discolouration or air in your water when a tap is first opened following the service interruption. This is quite normal and is an aesthetic problem only; it does not present a safety concern. Run your water for several minutes before using it and the problem should quickly remedy itself. It is best to perform this initial flushing at a tap that is not equipped with a mesh strainer in order to avoid a possible fouling of the strainer.

Questions regarding this planned work should be directed to Fixit by phone at ext. 77301 or by email.

Learning for life

Principal Daniel Woolf presents a Teaching and Learning award to (from left to right) Sandra Halliday, Sheila Pinchin, Dr. Melanie Walker, Dr. Heather Murray, and Suzanne Maranda.

When the School of Medicine at Queen’s initiated a curriculum renewal process for the MD program in 2009, Heather Murray (Emergency Medicine) saw an opportunity to enhance the education of medical students in evidence-based medicine and research skills training.

The study and practice of medicine is constantly evolving, and there is an endless amount of information and new knowledge being created through research and then being shared through studies and journals. Long after they’ve graduated, Dr. Murray explains, doctors need to be able to access new information and understand it before they can apply it.

“As our knowledge and understanding of human disease and how we treat it changes, the management of these conditions change,” Dr. Murray says. “So our students must graduate with a framework for understanding what they don’t know and finding valid answers. We can’t teach them a static body of knowledge that will apply anymore. We have to teach them a series of steps they undertake to educate themselves as they go forward because the target is always moving.”

The plan, in short, was to teach students how to be continual learners while, at the same time, the School of Medicine reduced the amount of lecture-based learning in the program. This meant teaching students how to approach the vast body of information, critically analyze it, and then, if deemed viable, apply it.

The result was an innovative new curricular plan for each year of the four-year program, developed by Dr. Murray and a multidisciplinary team including fellow faculty members Melanie Walker (Division of Cancer Care and Epidemiology) and Linda Levesque (Centre for Health Services and Policy Research), Sheila Pinchin, Manager - Educational Development and Faculty Support, School of Medicine, as well as Suzanne Maranda and Sandra Halliday of the Bracken Library.

In 2015, the team received the Curriculum Development Award, one of six Principal’s Teaching and Learning Awards. The award recognizes excellence in curriculum or program development through collaborative efforts by committees, teams, units or departments.

As the curriculum renewal progressed, so did the introduction to evidence-based medicine and research.

The initial step in 2009 saw Dr. Murray and Dr. Levesque develop a first-year course in evidence-based medicine, MEDS 112, also referred to as CARL – Critical Appraisal, Research and Lifelong Learning.  Throughout first year, further sessions would be held in a variety of courses to entrench the connections.

“We slowly evolved this curriculum over the years where the students would do this foundational stuff in the CARL course: they would learn how to read papers and how to interpret results, and the basic skill set was to be a literate consumer of medical evidence,” Dr. Murray says. “Then the students would do these practical application sessions where I would team teach with a faculty member in a clinical course and we would do a deep dive and read a paper and apply it to some case scenarios.”

This is followed by a second newly designed course: the critical enquiry course (MEDS 232) in second year. In small groups of three students with one faculty mentor, the focus is on developing a research proposal longitudinally over the year, building upon the skills they gained in first year.

“In this course they conduct a literature search, they do a bit of critical appraisal, and then they build their own research proposal,” Dr. Murray explains. “And many of the students use that course as a launch pad to actually do research in the summer after their second year.”

The curriculum continues in third and fourth years, as the students conduct their clinical clerkships, where they complete a written exercise of asking questions, finding and appraising evidence and then writing up an actual patient case they have been involved with for each rotation.

The Principal’s Teaching and Learning Awards, created in 2015, recognize individuals and teams who have shown exceptional innovation and leadership in teaching and learning on campus. The awards are administered by the Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL).

Nominations for the 2017 Curriculum Development Award are currently being accepted. All nominations should be sent electronically in PDF form to ctl@queensu.ca no later than Tuesday, Aug. 1, by 4 pm. For more information about the award and the nomination form and process, visit the CTL website

Water shutdown planned for Watson Hall - morning of Mon Jul 17

A building water shutdown is planned for Watson Hall on Monday, July 17 between 8:30 am and 12 pm (approximate timing) to permit Physical Plant Services to replace isolation valves that have failed.

During the shutdown period, there will not be domestic water for flushing toilets, hand washing or kitchen use, etc. Please direct building occupants and visitors to washrooms in Mackintosh-Corry Hall while work is in progress. There are no fire safety implications arising out of this planned work.

Note: There may be discolouration or air in your water when a tap is first opened following the service interruption. This is quite normal and is an aesthetic problem only; it does not present a safety concern. Run your water for several minutes before using it and the problem should quickly remedy itself. It is best to perform this initial flushing at a tap that is not equipped with a mesh strainer in order to avoid a possible fouling of the strainer.

Questions regarding this shutdown should be directed to Fixit by phone at ext. 77301 or by email.

Update regarding Mackintosh-Corry south heat pump loop

UPDATE>>> Work is continuing on the south heat pump loop at Mackintosh-Corry Hall. As a result, there will be no cooling available to D and E Wings again today (Thurs Jul 13). Another update will be released to advise when the loop is restored to service.

This shutdown is required to permit contractors to make modifications in the areas under renovation on the 2nd floor as well as to permit Physical Plant Services to install isolation valves to facilitate future maintenance work.

Questions regarding this shutdown should be directed to Fixit by phone at extension 77301 or by email.

Mackintosh-Corry Hall south heat pump loop shutdown

The heat pump loop serving Mackintosh-Corry Hall south (D and E Wings) will be shut down from Tuesday, July 11 at 2 pm through end-of-day on Wednesday, July 12 or early morning on Thursday, July 13. This shutdown is required to permit contractors to make modifications in the areas under renovation on the 2nd floor as well as to permit Physical Plant Services to install isolation valves to facilitate future maintenance work.

Questions regarding this shutdown should be directed to Fixit by phone at extension 77301 or by email.

Queen’s remembers student Dilvinder Lakhanpal

Queen’s University regrets to inform the community of the death of graduate student Dilvinder Lakhanpal.

Dilvinder drowned while boating at Wasaga Beach, Ontario this past weekend. He was a student in the Smith School of Business’ Accelerated MBA program.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of one of our students. On behalf of the university community, we extend our deepest sympathies to Dilvinder’s family and friends,” says Daniel Woolf, Principal and Vice-Chancellor.

Flags on campus will be lowered in Dilvinder’s memory. The funeral will take place on Friday, July 14 at 2:30 p.m. at Brampton Crematorium, 30 Branwin Court, Brampton, Ontario.

Students in need of support are encouraged to contact:

Interfaith Chaplain Kate Johnson: chaplain@queensu.ca, 613-533-2186;
Student Wellness Services: counselling.services@queensu.ca, 613-533-6000 ext. 78264;
or Good2Talk, Ontario’s 24-hour post-secondary student helpline: 1-866-925-5454.

Making it easier to self-identify

Indigenous students at Queen’s can now self-identify through their SOLUS student account at any time during their studies.

[ATEP graduates]
Graduates of the Aboriginal Teacher Education Program (ATEP) celebrate outside of Grant Hall following following the fall convocation ceremony on Nov. 17, 2016. (University Communications) 

The short five-question mechanism was developed through a partnership of the Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre and the Office of the University Registrar with funding from the Ontario Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development.  It aims to provide the university with a more accurate picture of Aboriginal enrolment at Queen’s, and will inform and enhance programs, services and supports for these students. Until now, the only time an undergraduate student could self-identify was during the Ontario Universities’ Application Centre process.

“We estimate that only about half of the Aboriginal student population at Queen’s has self-identified,” says Four Directions Director Janice Hill. “This new function in SOLUS will give all students the opportunity to give us whatever information they feel comfortable providing. It also offers us the chance to connect with them, with their consent, and tell them about the specialized programs, services, and resources we have to promote their academic and personal success, and to encourage them to connect with the growing Aboriginal community on campus.”

The development of the new mechanism was led by Lauren Winkler, ArtSci'17, JD’20, outgoing president of the Queen’s Native Students’ Association and past AMS Deputy Commissioner of Indigenous Initiatives, who consulted with students, staff, faculty and other institutions over several months. She also helped to create a new website about self-identification that features the voices and photos of Aboriginal students who discuss the benefits of self-identification.

"I have spoken with students who I know to have Indigenous ancestry but don't feel comfortable self-identifying because they aren't connected with their culture,” says Ms. Winkler. “One student told me that to feel like they could self-identify, they would want Indigenous students to tell them it was okay and that they would be accepted. This is why we wanted to have videos featuring current Indigenous Queen's students, talking about their experiences and encouraging others to become part of the community."

The mechanism aligns with recommendations of Queen’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force that call for enhanced outreach to Aboriginal students to support retention and graduation.

Learn more about the mechanism and self-identification at Queen’s.  

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