Queen's Gazette | Queen's University

Search form

Campus Community

IN PHOTOS: Queen's confers 10 honorary degrees

  • [Sping Convocation Honorary Degrees 2015]
    Brigadier-General Jean-Robert Bernier speaks after receiving his honorary degree from Queen's University.
  • [Sping Convocation Honorary Degrees 2015]
    Alan Broadbent, chairman of Maytree and Avana Capital Corporation, delivers his speech at Grant Hall.
  • [Sping Convocation Honorary Degrees 2015]
    Jim Cuddy, of Blue Rodeo, and a Queen's alumni, speaks after receiving an honorary degree from the university.
  • [Sping Convocation Honorary Degrees 2015]
    Lyse Doucet, an award-winning BBC journalist, receives an honorary degree from Queen's University.
  • [Sping Convocation Honorary Degrees 2015]
    Former High Court of Australia judge Michael Kirby, third from left, waits to receive his honorary degree.
  • [Sping Convocation Honorary Degrees 2015]
    John MacGregor, a major contributor to advanced control techniques in Canada, stands with Chancellor Jim Leech.
  • [Sping Convocation Honorary Degrees 2015]
    Alex McComber, who has worked to enhance the wellbeing of Aboriginal people across Canada, speaks at Grant Hall.
  • [Sping Convocation Honorary Degrees 2015]
    David Mullan, a long-serving law professor at Queen’s University, delivers his speech after receiving an honorary degree.
  • [Sping Convocation Honorary Degrees 2015]
    David Reville, a former MPP and chair of the Ontario Advocacy Commission, speaks after receiving an honorary degree from Queen's.
  • [Sping Convocation Honorary Degrees 2015]
    Eric Windeler, founder and executive director of Jack.org, stands with Principal Daniel Woolf, Chancellor Jim Leech and Rector Mike Young.

During the recently-completed spring convocation ceremonies at Queen’s University, honorary degrees were conferred upon 10 individuals who have made remarkable contributions to the lives of people throughout the world in academia, business, politics, science and the arts.

Each recipient delivered a speech to the assembled graduands as well as their friends and family.

Queen’s has conferred honorary degrees for 157 years.

Mixing medicine and motherhood

[Elspeth and Wyatt McTavish]
Elspeth McTavish holds her son Wyatt shortly after her convocation ceremony at Grant Hall. Wyatt was born just three days earlier on May 18. (University Communications)

Elspeth McTavish, who goes by the nickname ‘Pepi’, was working on the frontlines of health care as a registered nurse when she realized that she wasn’t entirely satisfied with her position.

“I found myself banging my head a lot,” she recalls with a laugh. “I realized I wanted to make  larger upstream changes within the health care system.”

Before that was possible, however, Ms. McTavish, who also holds masters degrees in both public health and health management, knew she would have to make some changes in her own life: including returning to university for her medical degree.

On May 21, Ms. McTavish realized that dream, convocating with her medical degree but also with a slew of awards including the Neil Currie Polson Memorial Prize (awarded to a student in the final year who is judged by his/her teachers to be best adapted to apply his/her training in practice), the A.J. Douglas Prize in Community Health and Epidemiology (awarded to a fourth-year medical student demonstrating the greatest human understanding for the welfare of patients) and the Mathews Medal in Family Medicine.

But Ms. McTavish admits she wasn’t convinced she would make it to her convocation ceremony. That’s because three days earlier, on May 18, she gave birth to a baby boy, Wyatt.

“I knew I didn’t want to miss this convocation,” says Ms. McTavish, who is now based in Newmarket where she is pursuing a residency position in Family Medicine at the University of Toronto’s Newmarket site. “My husband asked me how I felt on the morning of convocation, and I felt OK. He drove and the baby slept!” 

Wyatt’s birth came only 11 months after the birth of her first child, April. Ms. McTavish took seven weeks off to tend to her firstborn before her husband, a paramedic, took over as the primary caregiver.

“I didn’t want to take a whole year off,” she explains, “because you get too far behind.”

Instead, Ms. McTavish describes pumping milk for her baby while she was on call doing a placement in internal medicine.

While she admits her experience has been slightly unconventional, Ms. McTavish says that overall, things have worked out well. While the university’s medical school did not currently have a policy to support students who choose to have children while pursuing their medical education, she says that is changing.

“The School of Medicine has been  tremendously supportive and are now creating a policy to help new parents,” she says.

While her diverse medical experience includes working as a volunteer camp nurse to support patients with HIV, serving as a local officer with the Canadian Federation of Medical Students to promote reproductive and sexual health in medical education, and taking training in public health at Harvard University as part of her medical degree, Ms. McTavish still anticipates that parenting will be the hardest thing she will ever do. 

For now, she is enjoying her new baby and basking in the glow of having realized a dream in a medical program she describes as “fantastic.”

“I never would have thought that I would have 99 peers and co-workers who could be as wonderful as they have been,” she says. “I know they are all going to be leaders in the world of medicine.”

This article was first published in the June 9 edition of the Gazette, which is available at many locations around campus.

ITS updates Office 365 service

Queen’s Information Technology Services (ITS) continues to explore new features and functionality as part of its ongoing support for Office 365.

“With the move to Office 365, we’ve entered a new era of service delivery. Our team is constantly having discussions with units to enable continuous service changes and enhancements,” says Bo Wandschneider, Associate Vice-Principal (Information Technology Services) and Chief Information Officer.

Now that Queen’s has transitioned to Office 365, the cloud-based collaborative suite, ITS is:

  • Investigating the introduction of SharePoint Online team sites. This tool has the potential to help units and departments enhance collaboration and organize shared content.
  • Examining the potential benefits of Office 365 Video, a new product introduced by Microsoft earlier this year. ITS is determining how it could be used at Queen’s and the implications for existing streaming services.
  • Introducing Clutter, a new tool to help users organize their email inboxes. The tool learns which messages users typically regard as lower priority and moves them automatically to a new Clutter folder.

Cloud coming to Canada

ITS will take advantage of Microsoft’s recent decision to deliver cloud services from data centres in Canada. The university’s cloud-based collaborative suite of services will shift to one of two Microsoft data centres located in Ontario and Quebec.

“We welcome this decision by Microsoft, which addresses the concerns a few members of the Queen’s community expressed about data residing on servers outside of Canada,” Mr. Wandschneider says.

The change is expected to occur in 2016, and the impact on Queen’s users will be minimal. ITS will provide advance notice to the Queen’s community if temporary outages are required to facilitate the changeover.

More benefits for staff and faculty

ITS recently negotiated a new licence to allow university employees to install Office 365 ProPlus for free on up to five personal computers, plus additional installs on mobile devices.

ITS has also created tutorials for Skype for Business, which replaces Microsoft Lync. Queen’s users will be able to expand their collaboration network to communicate both inside and outside the institution using the instant messaging and collaboration platform. Staff and faculty will not lose any features or functionality. The tool could also further support teaching and learning activities at Queen’s, according to Mr. Wandschneider.

A meeting of rectors

This is the third and final article written by Queen's Rector Mike Young on his experiences as he presided over Spring Convocation.

  • [Honorary Degree Alan Broadbent]
    Alan Broadbent, the first student rector at Queen's University, speaks during spring convocation after receiving an honorary degree on June 8.
  • [Honorary Degree Alan Broadbent]
    Alan Broadbent, second from right, receives an honorary degree as Principal Daniel Woolf, left, Chancellor Jim Leech, second from left, and Rector Mike Young, look on.
  • [Honorary Degree Alan Broadbent]
    Alan Broadbent, the first student rector at Queen's University, stands with Chancellor Jim Leech as he waits to receive his honorary dergee

Serving as the first-ever student rector in 1969, Alan Broadbent’s name will forever be embedded within the rich history of student leadership at Queen’s University.

Having the honour of serving as the 23rd student rector, it was a special moment to have the chance to sit down with the original student rector, who took up the position 46 years ago. Queen’s has featured a rector since 1913, but up until Mr. Broadbent, the position had never been filled by a student.

“There was a rector who didn’t really have a lot of contact with students and it was part of a movement at the time across university campuses for the student voice to become more prominent, and for students demanding to have a voice at universities,” he says. “The student government at the time decided that, seeing as it was a representative of students on the board of trustees, that it should be filled by a student.”

Though the role has evolved and become defined over time, Mr. Broadbent had the unique task and opportunity to shape this iconic position.

“When I took office, there really was no definition of what the job was aside from the official Queen’s documents, so I really had a blank slate to work,” he says.

He cited Principal Emeritus, John Deutsch, as being paramount to the position’s development and his own personal success when trying to integrate himself within the university’s structure. It seems only fitting, then, that the Office of the Rector is located in the John Deutsch University Centre several decades later.

Serving students and the school community in many ways during his time at Queen’s, Mr. Broadbent was coming to campus on this occasion to be recognized for his life accomplishments with an honorary degree. I was curious to find out what our first student rector felt about returning to where he helped create the landscape and environment in which I currently work on a daily basis.

What followed was not surprising.

Taking a moment to reflect, Mr. Broadbent spoke about his deep connection to Queen’s as a community and to its physical campus space. Following this moment of reflection, he humbly and humorously spoke about being nominated for his honorary degree:

“I know that some of the people behind the nomination are people I know and have a high regard for – John Meisel, Brian Osborne, Peter Milliken – and I guess once they make a nomination like that, it’s kind of hard to turn them down.”

“I’m very happy,” he added.

Mr. Broadbent has carried his spirit of service from the Rector’s Office out into the world since leaving this campus in the 1970s. In addition to serving as chairman and CEO of Avana Capital Corporation, Mr. Broadbent is the chairman and founder of Maytree, a private Canadian charitable foundation that focuses on alleviating poverty and enhancing the public good.

The relationships he cultivated while at Queen’s and the leadership skills he acquired during his time as rector are what Mr. Broadbent says were the two biggest tools he took away from the university and into his work.

“I met a lot of people in student leadership positions here who’ve really been life-long friends and some of them were life-long colleagues”, he says.

In fact, it was with one of his most cherished Queen’s friends,  Ken Battle, that Mr. Broadbent would go on to create the Caledon Institute of Social Policy in 1992.

For old time’s sake, I concluded by asking Mr. Broadbent to address a message to the Queen’s student body:

“There’s a full ability and an obligation to participate in life outside of their chosen work or outside of their family. We’re all involved in building our communities and building the country, and they should feel that they not only have a role to play in that, but there’s an obligation for all that they’ve learned and acquired at this place to participate as citizens.”

“And the second thing is just the lessons of dedication and endurance. Important things take a while to get done and if you don’t have the taste to be there for the long term and for fighting for things worth fighting for over the long term, then you should develop it.”

FIT TIPS: Easy ways to stay active and healthy

Here are 10 tips to help you achieve 150 minutes of physical activity in a week, and to help you live a healthy lifestyle. See how many you can do in one week:

  1. Drink a glass of water before every meal
  2. Take the bus instead of driving, enjoy the walk to and from the bus stop
  3. Try a dance class
  4. Order dressing on the side of salads
  5. Watch a scary movie with friends, it burns more calories than other movies and boosts endorphins
  6. Walk to the Farmer’s Market downtown and treat yourself to fresh fruits and vegetables
  7. Download the Lumosity app on your phone and try out the brain exercises
  8. Switch up your workout routine to keep things interesting
  9. When ordering pizza, ask for thin-crust
  10. Go rock climbing

A chance to meet preferred suppliers

There’s no better way to do business than to meet face-to-face with partners and that’s just the opportunity members of the Queen’s community will have at the Preferred Suppliers Show.

Set for June 17 in the BioSciences Atrium, Strategic Procurement Services is hosting its fourth annual event, which brings sales representatives and technical specialists to the university.

[Preferred Supplier Show]
The Preferred Suppliers Show will feature sales representatives and technical specialists from 37 companies at the BioSciences Atrium. (University Communications)

Sales representatives and technical specialists from 37 companies will gather in the atrium of the BioSciences Complex from 10 am to 3 pm. Strategic Procurement Services has published a full list of suppliers who will attend the show next week.

“Many of the suppliers will have samples on hand and specialists at their booths who can answer specific questions. We’re confident that if attendees share their needs, they’ll find suppliers who can help them in terms of quality, cost and delivery,” says Eoin MacDonald, Director of Strategic Procurement Services. “The Preferred Suppliers Show is the perfect opportunity for university staff and faculty to get acquainted with the suppliers and discuss requirements with them.”

Queen’s has identified preferred suppliers for a wide range of products and services including printing, office supplies and laboratory equipment. As preferred suppliers, many vendors have waived their fuel surcharge fees, dangerous goods fees and removed their thresholds for free shipping, resulting in consistent savings for Queen’s buyers.

A buffet lunch will be offered during the show. Attendees can register at the show for a chance to win an iPad Mini courtesy of Strategic Procurement Services. Many suppliers will also host booth draw prizes.

For more information contact Steve Young at ext. 32912 or steven.young@queensu.ca, or Andy Scotter at ext. 32209 and andy.scotter@queensu.ca.

Professor fêted for career exploring Canadian identity

Historical geographer and Professor Emeritus Brian Osborne has spent his life studying “place” and the “layers” of human presence that tell the story of people. He is fascinated by what connects people to the land, particularly at the local level, and he has published extensively on Kingston’s history and explored in depth the question of Canadian national identity.

[Brian Osborne]
Brian Osborne, seen here with former RCGS president Gisèle Jacob after receiving the Camsell Medal for his volunteer work with the organization in 2007, was recently awarded the RCGS’ Massey Medal, which recognizes outstanding career accomplishments in the exploration, development or description of the geography of Canada. (Supplied Photo)

Dr. Osborne recently added a “layer” to his own history with a Massey Medal from the Royal Canadian Geographical Society (RCGS). The award recognizes outstanding career accomplishments in the exploration, development or description of the geography of Canada.

“The society is very much concerned with the question of ‘what is Canada’ and its national identity, and it operates at the cutting edge of my work,” says Dr. Osborne, who was has been a Fellow of the RCGS since 1988 and was vice-president between 1998 and 2004. “I’m really proud to be a member of the Society, and the award of the Massey Medal is quite an honour.”

Dr. Osborne, who grew up in Wales, began teaching at Queen’s in 1967, and has since inspired generations of students in the field of geography. He’s been awarded numerous scholarly and professional honours, including the 2007 RCGS Camsell Medal for volunteer work and Queen Elizabeth II Gold and Diamond Jubilee Medals in 2002 and 2012. He has been very active in provincial and community organizations, serving as president of both the Ontario Historical Society and the Kingston Historical Society. Dr. Osborne has also been a consultant for the National Capital Commission, Heritage Canada, Parks Canada, Canada Post and the National Film Board.

RCGS Awards Committee chair Helen Kerfoot highlighted Dr. Osborne’s scholarship in Aboriginal history, settlement history, cultural landscapes, and the development of a Canadian sense of place. She also noted that the Queen’s professor was involved with the inclusion of Fort Henry and the Martello tower fortifications in Kingston as part of the Rideau Canal’s 2007 designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Dr. Osborne says the ongoing question of what it means to be Canadian has always captivated him, and he continues to explore the concept of how people identify with where they live at the local and national levels.

“I think of myself as a local scholar, and Kingston’s history has engaged me for some time. I’m currently working on the preface to a commemorative volume on Barriefield – the stories, memories and people and leading figures who have contributed to its becoming a distinctive “place” in history. I like to think of documenting and interpreting its historical geography as layers of the human record on the land. Through those layers run rich vertical themes – generational knowledge, traditions, experiences, storytelling, folklore – all communicated through time into the present. That is how I reconstruct the essence of places. ”

Newly proposed policies up for review

Two newly-proposed policies, one on student administrative surveys and one on research administration, have been posted on the University Secretariat website for the Queen’s community to review and provide feedback. The community will be able to provide feedback until June 29. Feedback can be sent to policies@queensu.ca.

Work on the Isabel earns awards

[Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts]
The Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts at Queen's University officially opened in September 2014. (University Communications)

The Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts at Queen’s University continues to win awards as the architects who designed the facility were recently recognized for their outstanding work.

Ottawa-based N45 Architecture Inc., in association with Snøhetta Architecture Design Planning, an international design firm with offices in Oslo, Norway and New York City, were presented with the inaugural Lieutenant Governor’s Award at the Ontario Association of Architects (OAA) Celebration of Excellence in May.

“We are very honoured to receive the OAA Lieutenant Governor’s Award,” Robert Matthews, partner at N45 Architecture Inc., says in a media release. “The Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts was designed not only as a beautiful place for the public to enjoy music, but as a versatile space for the students of Queen’s University’s music, drama, film studies and fine arts departments to learn and experiment. We were inspired by Kingston’s geography and wanted to make sure the building related to its environment. The main performance hall is wrapped in wood reminiscent of the rock you see throughout the city.” 

Also receiving recognition is Queen’s University’s marketing department for the video it created for the September 2014 grand opening of the Isabel.

The video team received a bronze Circle of Excellence Award in the General Information Long Videos category from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), an international competition that attracted 3,200 entries from 700 institutions worldwide, as well as a second bronze in the Best Use of Multimedia category of the Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education's Prix D'Excellence.

“A lot of heart and soul went into the creation of the Isabel grand opening video produced for the opening event at Queen’s held in September 2014,” says Helena Debnam, Executive Director, Marketing, University Relations. “It is a great honour to win a CASE award such as this, particularly given its international recognition and scope in higher education. This award is a testament to those in the Marketing, University Relations and North Summit Productions, who were involved in the creation, coordination and planning of this video – and also significantly the late Jerry Doiron.”

Mr. Doiron, the inaugural director of the Isabel, passed away on Oct. 9, 2014.  

The video features before and after images as well as drone footage and footage captured from a ferry travelling along the lake. A wide array of stakeholders were interviewed including professors, students, project managers and architects, including lead architect Craig Dykers, who was not available until the day before the opening.

The video can be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ywTSrcKcsZk

The design of the Isabel incorporated the best features of the world’s greatest facilities and combines them with advances in modern technology to create a world-class building. The 80,000-square-foot facility features an acoustically superior 560-seat concert hall and a 100-seat studio theatre, as well as an art and media lab, a film screening room, laboratories, classrooms and rehearsal space.

The Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts was made possible by a transformational gift from Alfred Bader (Sc’45, Arts’46, MSc’47, LLD’86) and his wife Isabel (LLD’07) as well as the financial backing of the federal and provincial governments, the City of Kingston and additional philanthropic support. The Isabel is a hub for artistic study, creation, exhibition and performance at Queen’s. It is home to the Department of Film and Media and also provides learning and working space for the university’s other creative arts disciplines.


June edition of Gazette available

The June edition of the Gazette is now available around Queen’s campus, as well as a number of off-campus locations.

[Gazette June 9]
Read the Gazette online.

The newspaper is filled with interesting Queen's-focused items including:

  • A feature interview with Mike Condra, who is retiring as director of Health, Counselling and Disability Services.
  • A series of articles on what’s happening at the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science.
  • A close-up, colourful look at spring convocation.
  • Updates on the latest research, awards and achievements of faculty, staff and students.

The Gazette is published monthly during the summer months; the next edition will hit the newsstands on July 7.

Anyone looking to get a story, photo or information in the Gazette can contact the paper's editor Andrew Carroll or Senior Communications Officer Mark Kerr.

Also visit the Gazette Online for more stories and photos and follow us on Twitter at @queensuGazette.



Subscribe to RSS - Campus Community