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Serving up social innovation

  • Principal Daniel Woolf welcomes members of the Kingston and Queen's communities to the Principal's Community Breakfast at the Residence Inn by Marriott Kingston’s Water’s Edge.
    Principal Daniel Woolf welcomes members of the Kingston and Queen's communities to the Principal's Community Breakfast at the Residence Inn by Marriott Kingston’s Water’s Edge.
  • A panel provided update on social innovation projects at Queen's. From left: Principal Daniel Woolf; Tina Dacin, Director of the Smith School of Business Centre for Social Impact, Shyra Barberstock, a PhD candidate and CEO and President of Okwaho Equal Source, Claire Davies, a professor of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, and Hasan Kettaneh, a PhD candidate and member of the PhD Community Initiative program.
    A panel provided update on social innovation projects at Queen's. From left: Principal Daniel Woolf; Tina Dacin, Director of the Smith School of Business Centre for Social Impact, Shyra Barberstock, a PhD candidate and CEO and President of Okwaho Equal Source, Claire Davies, a professor of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, and Hasan Kettaneh, a PhD candidate and member of the PhD Community Initiative program.
  • One of the nearly 100 attendees of the Principal's Community Breakfast asks a question during the event hosted at the Residence Inn by Marriott Kingston’s Water’s Edge on Friday, Nov. 17.
    One of the nearly 100 attendees of the Principal's Community Breakfast asks a question during the event hosted at the Residence Inn by Marriott Kingston’s Water’s Edge on Friday, Nov. 17.

The annual Principal’s Community Breakfast was hosted Friday, Nov. 17 at the Residence Inn by Marriott Kingston’s Water’s Edge, with close to 100 people from the Kingston and Queen’s communities attending.

Principal Daniel Woolf provided a number of updates on initiatives at the university while a panel, comprising Tina Dacin, Director of the Smith School of Business Centre for Social Impact, Shyra Barberstock, a PhD candidate and CEO and President of Okwaho Equal Source, Claire Davies, a professor of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, and Hasan Kettaneh, a PhD candidate and member of the PhD Community Initiative program, discussed their efforts in social innovation.

The event wrapped up with a question-and-answer period.

Inside peek at the IWC

Principal Daniel Woolf leads tour of the Innovation and Wellness Centre for government officials.

  • Jim McLellan (Academic Director, DDQIC), Principal Daniel Woolf, Kevin Deluzio (Dean, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science), MPP Sophie Kiwala, MP Mark Gerretsen, Franco Lora (IWC project manager) John Witjes (Associate Vice-Principal Facilities), and Ann Tierney (Vice-Provost and Dean, Student Affairs) meet with workers from Ellis Don Construction (blue vests) during a tour of the Innovation and Wellness Centre.
    Jim McLellan (Academic Director, DDQIC), Principal Daniel Woolf, Kevin Deluzio (Dean, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science), MPP Sophie Kiwala, MP Mark Gerretsen, Franco Lora (IWC project manager) John Witjes (Associate Vice-Principal Facilities), and Ann Tierney (Vice-Provost and Dean, Student Affairs) meet with workers from Ellis Don Construction (blue vests) during a tour of the Innovation and Wellness Centre.
  • IWC Project Manager Franco Lora points out features in the main floor of the Innovation and Wellness Centre to MPP Sophie Kiwala.
    IWC Project Manager Franco Lora points out features in the main floor of the Innovation and Wellness Centre to MPP Sophie Kiwala.
  • When completed, the Innovation and Wellness Centre will feature new innovation and engineering laboratory spaces, as well as facilities for health and wellness services.
    When completed, the Innovation and Wellness Centre will feature new innovation and engineering laboratory spaces, as well as facilities for health and wellness services.
  • Associate Vice-Principal (Facilities) John Witjes shows MPP Sophie Kiwala and MP Mark Gerretsen renderings of what the main lobby of the Innovation and Wellness Centre will look like upon completion.
    Associate Vice-Principal (Facilities) John Witjes shows MPP Sophie Kiwala and MP Mark Gerretsen renderings of what the main lobby of the Innovation and Wellness Centre will look like upon completion.
  • A view from the second floor of the Innovation and Wellness Centre, facing towards the stone facade of the former Physical Education Centre.
    A view from the second floor of the Innovation and Wellness Centre, facing towards the stone facade of the former Physical Education Centre.
  • IWC Project Manager Franco Lora highlights recent progress to Principal Daniel Woolf and MPP Sophie Kiwala.
    IWC Project Manager Franco Lora highlights recent progress to Principal Daniel Woolf and MPP Sophie Kiwala.
  • Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Kevin Deluzio, talks with MP Mark Gerretsen during a tour of the Innovation and Wellness Centre.
    Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Kevin Deluzio, talks with MP Mark Gerretsen during a tour of the Innovation and Wellness Centre.
  • The tour group takes in the sights from the third floor of the Innovation and Wellness Centre.
    The tour group takes in the sights from the third floor of the Innovation and Wellness Centre.

Principal Daniel Woolf took Kingston and the Islands MP Mark Gerretsen and MPP Sophie Kiwala on a sneak preview tour of the Innovation and Wellness Centre on Friday, Nov. 17.

Joined by Kevin Deluzio, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Ann Tierney, Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs, Jim McLellan, Academic Director of the Dunin-Deshpande Queen's Innonvation Centre, John Witjes, Associate Vice-Principal, Facilities, and Franco Lora, IWC Project Manager, the tour group were able to witness first-hand the progress on the site and see the innovation spaces, engineering labs, and wellness centre taking shape.

Located on the site of the former Physical Education Centre, the Innovation and Wellness Centre will feature expanded engineering facilities, makerspaces, and experiential learning spaces, as well as an Innovation Hub – centered around the successful Queen’s Innovation Connector – and state-of-the-art interdisciplinary laboratories. These facilities will increase opportunities for research, student design and learning, while also strengthening the university’s position in world-leading research. The innovation and engineering facilities will be co-located with space for Student Wellness Services and the chaplaincy.

New program aims to ‘Flip the Script’ on sexual assault

Catrina Mavrigianakis and Natalie Brown
Graduate students and peer facilitators Catrina Mavrigianakis, left, and Natalie Brown, along with Luissa Vahedi, are responsible for delivering the modules of theEnhanced Assess, Acknowledge, Act (EAAA) sexual assault resistance education program at Queen's. (University Communications) 

A new program aimed at providing first-year, female-identified students with the tools to prevent and resist sexual assault is being introduced to the Queen’s community this fall.

An initiative of the Human Rights Office, the Enhanced Assess, Acknowledge, Act (EAAA) sexual assault resistance education program is an evidence-based program developed by University of Windsor professor and researcher, Charlene Senn.  Known on campus as “Flip the Script,” the program has a focus on addressing acquaintance sexual assault.

Dr. Senn, who leads the Sexual Assault Resistance Education (SARE) Centre, has researched, developed, and tested the program over a 10-year period and now EAAA is being shared with universities across Canada and around the world.

At Queen’s, the EAAA program is being led by Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Coordinator, Barb Lotan and Human Rights Advisor, Margot Coulter. The pair traveled to Windsor earlier this year to attend a train-the-trainer session and become thoroughly familiar with the project. Work over the summer included hiring and training three peer facilitators who are responsible for delivering the modules to the students. In addition to Ms. Coulter and Ms. Lotan, the five-person team now also includes graduate students Catrina Mavrigianakis, Natalie Brown and Luissa Vahedi.

The program is 12 hours in length with sessions being delivered over four evening or two full-day sessions on a weekend. This fall, weekend sessions are being offered on Nov. 18-19 or Nov. 25-26. 

The two-day sessions are divided into four main sections: providing information, skills, and practice in assessing risk; overcoming emotional barriers in acknowledging danger; engaging in effective verbal and physical self-defence; and exploring one’s own sexual values, boundaries, and rights. Using conversation, interactive activities and videos, young women can explore the topics in a safe and comfortable environment.

The Flip the Script program is part of a comprehensive approach to preventing sexual violence at Queen’s. A variety of other programs running on campus, including  Bystander Intervention Training and RAD, are complementary to this program.  

Statistics show that as many as one in four female university students will experience either an attempted or completed sexual assault before they graduate. The aftereffects can be devastating and providing support to the survivor is vital.

All of those involved in delivering Flip the Script are committed to making a difference and creating opportunities for young women to change the conversation about sexual violence.

“People who are sexually assaulted often suffer adverse consequences in terms of mental health and can have a really difficult time focusing on school. It can really take a toll on your academics,” Ms. Brown says, adding that the majority of sexual assaults involve a male acquaintance, an important focus of the EAAA program. “We want women to be as successful as possible in all of their endeavors, so our goal is to reduce obstacles that prevent that from happening. This program is one vehicle for doing that.”

Statistics also show that a female student is most likely to experience an attempted or completed sexual assault during their first year at university – a time of transition, new situations and new acquaintances.

By providing information on danger cues, assessing risk in various situations, and how to react or respond, the program aims to help female students navigate the dangers they may face. As the old saying goes, knowledge is power.

“We really hope that we can make their transition to university life a little easier, make them feel a little more comfortable in their own skin or give them the tools to navigate the complex situations that do arise in social and sexual settings, and give them the sense that they can trust themselves,” says Ms. Mavrigianakis. “And it is also about what danger cues look like in men, what dangerous situations look like and feel like and giving women the space and the confidence to trust their intuition.”

Implementation of EAAA/Flip the Script on Queen’s campus is part of ongoing research being done by Dr. Senn and her team at the SARE Centre. 

Space is still available in the upcoming November session. More sessions are scheduled for March 2018. There is no fee to participate. Participation is limited to first-year, female-identified students enrolled at Queen’s. Contact the team at eaaaproject@queensu.ca for more information and to register, while a Facebook page is available as well.

For The Record: Nov. 16

For the Record provides postings of appointment, committee, grant, award, and other notices set out by collective agreements and university policies and processes. It is the university’s primary vehicle for sharing this information with our community.

The next issue of For the Record will be published Thursday, Nov. 30. The deadline for submitting information is Tuesday, Nov. 28. For the Record is published bi-weekly throughout the academic year and monthly during the summer.

Submit For the Record information for posting to Gazette Editor Andrew Carroll.

COMMITTEES

Advisory Review Committee - Queen's Institute of Energy and Environmental Policy (QIEEP), School of Policy Studies

In accordance with the Senate Policy on Procedures Governing the Establishment, Reporting and Review of Research Centres, Institutes and other entities at Queen’s University, David Walker, Executive Director, School of Policy Studies, is pleased to announce the membership of the Advisory Review Committee for the Queen's Institute of Energy and Environmental Policy (QIEEP) five-year review. The committee comprises:

  • Tina Dacin, Professor & Stephen J.R. Smith Chair of Strategy & Organizational Behaviour, and Director, Smith School of Business Centre for Social Impact
  • Peter Harrison, Chair of the Advisory Review Committee, Professor Emeritus, School of Policy Studies
  • Graham Whitelaw, Associate Professor, Queen’s National Scholar, School of Environmental Studies and the School of Urban and Regional Planning

To assist with the review, faculty, staff, students and members of the university community are invited to submit their comments to Dr. Harrison, c/o Celia Russell, School of Policy Studies russellc@queensu.ca by Friday, Dec. 1, 2017. For more information on QIEEP, visit www.queensu.ca/qieep/home.

Submissions will be shared with committee members only and will become part of the review process; anonymous submissions will not be accepted.

Headship Search Committee — Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine

In accordance with the Senate Document governing the Appointment of Clinical/Academic Department Heads, approved March 26, 2009, a search committee has been established to provide advice on the headship and the present state and future prospects of the Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine. The composition of the committee is as follows:

  • Ms. Silvie Crawford, Executive Vice-President and Chief Nursing Executive, Kingston Health Sciences Centre
  • Dr. Michael Fitzpatrick (co-chair), Vice President Medical Affairs and Chief of Staff, Kingston Health Sciences Centre
  • Dr. Anthony Ho, Professor, Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine
  • Dr. Yuri Koumpan, Resident, Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine
  • Dr. Jordan Leitch, Co-Chief Resident, Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine
  • Dr. John Leverette, Vice President, Medical and Academic Programs, Providence Care
  • Dr. Michael McMullen, Assistant Professor, Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine
  • Ms. Angela McTaggart, Administrative and Financial Assistant, Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine
  • Dr. Cara Reimer, Assistant Professor, Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine
  • Ms. Katie Roberts (Secretary), Senior Staffing Officer, Faculty of Health Sciences
  • Dr. John Rudan, Professor and Head, Department of Surgery
  • Dr. Chris Simpson (co-chair), Vice-Dean, Clinical, School of Medicine and Medical Director, Southeastern Ontario Academic Medical Organization
  • Dr. Devin Sydor, Assistant Professor, Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine

Faculty, staff, students, residents and all other members of the hospital and university communities, are invited to submit their comments, in writing, on the present state and future prospects of the department, as well as the names of possible candidates for the headship and the reasons for supporting each nominee. Written submissions are to be directed to the co- chairs c/o Katie Roberts, Faculty of Health Sciences, Macklem House, 18 Barrie St., Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, K7L 3N6. Electronic submissions can be forwarded to katie.roberts@queensu.ca.

While submissions will be accepted throughout the search process, it will be advantageous for the committee to have them early on. Responses received will remain confidential and will be shared only with the members of the review committee; Anonymous submissions will not be considered.

Headship Review Committee appointed for the Department of Ophthalmology

Dr. Martin ten Hove’s first term as Head of the Department will conclude on June 30, 2018 and Dr. ten Hove has indicated that he is willing to be considered for reappointment for a second term. The role of the Committee is to provide advice to the Provost of Queen’s University and the Chief Executive Officer of Kingston Health Sciences Centre on Dr. ten Hove’s reappointment as well as on the present state and future prospects of the Department. The members are:

  • Dr. Mark Bona, Assistant Professor, Department of Ophthalmology & School of Rehabilitation Therapy
  • Dr. Silvie Crawford, Executive Vice President & CNE, Kingston Health Sciences Centre
  • Dr. Stephanie Baxter, Associate Professor, Department of Ophthalmology
  • Dr. James Farmer, Associate Professor, Department of Ophthalmology
  • Dr. Sarah Simpson, Resident representative, Department of Ophthalmology
  • Dr. Annette McCallum, Head, Department of Diagnostic Radiology
  • Mr. Michael McDonald (Co-Chair), Executive Vice President, Patient Care and Community Partnerships. KHSC
  • Dr. Richard Reznick (Co-Chair), Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences & CEO, SEAMO
  • Ms. Connie Wighton (Secretary), Staffing Assistant, Faculty of Health Sciences

Faculty, staff, students, residents, members of the teaching hospitals and other members of the university and health sciences communities are invited to submit comments on the present state and future prospects of the Department of Ophthalmology and the degree of support for the reappointment of Dr. ten Hove as Head. Submissions are to be sent by Friday Dec. 8, 2017 to us as co-chairs either in writing c/o Connie Wighton at 18 Barrie Street, Macklem House or electronically to wightonc@queensu.ca. Responses will remain confidential and will be shared only with the members of the Review Committee; anonymous submissions will not be considered.

SUCCESSFUL CANDIDATES

Job Title: Business Analyst, Gift Planning
Department: Office of Advancement, Department of Development
Competition: J0917-0155
Successful Candidate: Khalid Savji (Office of Advancement)

Job Title: Medical Trainee Days (MTD) Coordinator (USW Local 2010)
Department: Medical Technology Unit
Competition: J0717-0750
Successful Candidate: WITHDRAWN

Job Title: Organizational Development Consultant
Department: Human Resources
Competition: J0617-0627
Successful Candidate: Elizabeth Zakos

Job Title: Cancer Research Monitor/Auditor
Department: Canadian Cancer Trials Group
Competition: J0617-1076
Successful Candidate: Michael Naughton

Job Title: Events and Administrative Coordinator
Department: University Relations
Competition: J0717-0545
Successful Candidate: Julia Sullivan

Job Title: Internship Program Administrative Assistant (USW Local 2010)
Department: Career Services
Competition: J0817-0025
Successful Candidate: Tiffany Pearsall (Office of the University Registrar)

Job Title: Residency Program Assistant - Undergraduate and Accommodations (USW Local 2010)
Department: Family Medicine
Competition: J0617-0756
Successful Candidate: Kim Wallace (Family Medicine)

Job Title: Manager, Administration
Department: Human Resources
Competition: J0717-0794
Successful Candidate: Kathryn Aldrich

Job Title: International Programs Assistant (USW Local 2010)
Department: International Programs Office
Competition: J0817-0877
Successful Candidate: Michael Green

Job Title: Administrative Assistant to the Dean
Department: Faculty of Health Sciences
Competition: J0917-0047
Successful Candidate: Adriane Epprecht (Athletics and Recreation, High Performance)

Job Title: Manager, Finance and Administration
Department: Human Resources
Competition: 2017-135
Successful Candidate: WITHDRAWN

Job Title: Caretaker (CUPE Local 229)
Department: Residences (Housing and Ancillary Services)
Competition: J0817-0225
Successful Candidate: Mike Belanger

Job Title: Caretaker (CUPE Local 229)
Department: Residences (Housing and Ancillary Services)
Competition: J0817-0225
Successful Candidate: Russell Ward

Job Title: Graduate Assistant (USW Local 2010)
Department: Political Studies
Competition: J0817-0852
Successful Candidate: Kristina Fennell (Faculty of Education)

Job Title: Film and Media Technician (CUPE Local 254)
Department: Film and Media
Competition: J0717-0027
Successful Candidate: Cameron Miller

Job Title: Senior Web Developer (USW Local 2010)
Department: Medical Technology Unit, Faculty of Health Sciences
Competition: J1017-0193
Successful Candidate: Devin Monroe (Education Technology Unit, Faculty of Health Sciences)

Job Title: Maintenance Worker (USW Local 2010)
Department: Community Housing (Housing & Ancillary Services)
Competition: J0817-0808
Successful Candidate: Mark Heighington (Community Housing)

Job Title: Cultural Counsellor (USW Local 2010)
Department: Four Directions Aboriginal Centre
Competition: J0817-0107
Successful Candidate: Vernon Altiman

Job Title: Educational Consultant
Department: Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences
Competition: J0817-00770
Successful Candidate: Lindsay Crawford

Job Title: Research Scientist
Department: Physics
Competition: J0817-0328
Successful Candidate: WITHDRAWN

Job Title: Building Superintendent (USW Local 2010)
Department: Community Housing (Housing & Ancillary Services)
Competition: J0917-0814
Successful Candidate: Leslie Deline

Fall Convocation: Day 3

  • David Bouchard, an award-winning Métis author and long-time educator, delivers his speech after receiving an honorary degree from Queen's on Thursday, Nov. 16.
    David Bouchard, an award-winning Métis author and long-time educator, delivers his speech after receiving an honorary degree from Queen's on Thursday, Nov. 16.
  • Erin Sutherland and Michael Gauthier, who both received their doctoral degrees, share a moment with Kanonhsyonne (Janice Hill), Director of Indigenous Initiatives, Prize for Excellence in Research recipient Sam McKegney (English Language and Literature), and Vanessa McCourt, Aboriginal Advisor.
    Erin Sutherland and Michael Gauthier, who both received their doctoral degrees, share a moment with Kanonhsyonne (Janice Hill), Director of Indigenous Initiatives, Prize for Excellence in Research recipient Sam McKegney (English Language and Literature), and Vanessa McCourt, Aboriginal Advisor.
  • Not all family photos work out the way they are planned, as this group found out after Thursday morning's Fall Convocation ceremony at Grant Hall.
    Not all family photos work out the way they are planned, as this group found out after Thursday morning's Fall Convocation ceremony at Grant Hall.
  • A graduate is hooded while her service puppy-in-training waits patiently during Thursday morning's Fall Convocation ceremony at Grant Hall.
    A graduate is hooded while her service puppy-in-training waits patiently during Thursday morning's Fall Convocation ceremony at Grant Hall.
  • A graduate of the Aboriginal Teacher Education Program (ATEP), receives a gift of a blanket from Lindsay Morcom (Education) during Thursday afternoon's Fall Convocation ceremony.
    A graduate of the Aboriginal Teacher Education Program (ATEP), receives a gift of a blanket from Lindsay Morcom (Education) during Thursday afternoon's Fall Convocation ceremony.

Fall Convocation at Queen’s University came to a conclusion on Thursday, Nov. 16 with the final two ceremonies being held at Grant Hall.

An honorary degree was conferred upon David Bouchard, an award winning Métis author and long-time educator.

See photos from Tuesday’s ceremonies and Wednesday’s ceremonies.

Queen's United Way campaign at 85 per cent of goal

Queen's United Way CampaignThe Queen’s United Way Campaign Committee has set a fundraising goal of $320,000 for this year’s campaign in support of United Way of Kingston, Frontenac Lennox and Addington.

To date, the campaign has reached $272,311 or 85 per cent of its goal.

Queen’s community members can back the United Way through payroll deduction, a one-time gift, credit card, cheque or cash. To make a donation online through the United Way’s ePledge system, simply go to queensu.ca/unitedway. Please note that if you donated last year and selected the auto-renewal action, no further action is required unless you would like to change your donation. 

More information on the campaign and the role of the Queen’s United Way Campaign Committee is available in this Gazette article.

A champion of equity and inclusivity

University Advisor on Equity and Human Rights Irène Bujara to retire in January 2018

After 25 years of service, Irène Bujara, University Advisor on Equity and Human Rights, will be retiring from her position as of January 31, 2018.

Irène Bujara, University Advisor on Equity and Human Rights.
Irène Bujara, University Advisor on Equity and Human Rights, will retire after 25 years at Queen's.

Ms. Bujara came to Queen’s in 1992 as the inaugural Director of the Human Rights Office. The Equity portfolio was added to her responsibilities in 2005 and she has held the position of University Advisor on Equity and Human Rights since that time. Throughout her tenure, she has guided the evolution of the university’s employment equity and educational, accessibility, anti-racism, and inclusion programs and mobilized countless initiatives to support the advancement of a welcoming and respectful campus community.

“Queen’s has greatly benefitted from Ms. Bujara’s passion and leadership over the past 25 years, and we will continue build on her work towards a fully welcoming and inclusive campus,” says Benoit-Antoine Bacon, Provost and VP (Academic).  “We are in all debt to Ms. Bujara and it is fitting that she was recently awarded a Distinguished Service Award in recognition of her work for the Queen’s community.”

In addition to working to prevent and address issues relating to harassment and discrimination, Ms. Bujara also established a forward-looking vision for the Human Rights Office and Equity Office, developing long-term strategic plans, policies, and proactive planning tools to support measurable progress. Ms. Bujara and her team’s work recently received an Employment Equity Achievement Award from the federal government in recognition of Queen’s Accessibility Framework, Employment Equity Framework, and their innovative evaluation tool, the Diversity and Equity Assessment and Planning (DEAP) application. 

During her time as the University Advisor on Equity and Human Rights, Ms. Bujara has also focused on supporting and engaging members of the Queen’s community, including overseeing the establishment of a number of resource groups and professional development programming such as the “From Diversity to Inclusion” certificate, as well as engagement initiatives like the “Woman Recreated Mosaic Project.”

“The accomplishment I am most proud of is to have built a team in both the Human Rights and Equity sections of the Office that is so responsive to the needs of the community,” says Ms. Bujara.

A further announcement about Ms. Bujara’s replacement will be made prior to her departure. In lieu of a celebration, she has requested the university make a donation to the Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health in honor of Leo Yerxa, an Ojibwe artist who gave generously of his time and talent to Queen’s and the Office’s many projects for over 25 years, and who passed away in September 2017. Colleagues who wish to do so are also invited to drop in to the Equity and Human Rights Office on January 31 to wish her well.  

Helping international students thrive

Dr. Arunima Khanna, Cross-Cultural Advisor, shares the challenges and rewards of her work in supporting and offering counselling to international students.
Dr. Arunima Khanna, Cross-Cultural Advisor, shares the challenges and rewards of her work in supporting and offering counselling to international students. (University Communications)

The Gazette talked with Arunima Khanna, Cross-Cultural Advisor with Student Wellness Services, as part of our coverage of International Education Week. Dr. Khanna provides counselling services to the 2,496 international undergraduate and graduate students studying at Queen’s, who come from 108 countries. Her work focuses on helping international students to navigate and adjust to campus life, as well as connecting them with resources and counselling for a range of personal and interpersonal issues that have an impact on physical and and mental health.

What type of support does cross-cultural counselling offer international students?

Our first point of contact with students is to participate in the orientation that is offered to degree seeking and exchange international students. Our message is that studying abroad can be both exciting and rewarding, but also challenging, sometimes stressful and overwhelming. The important thing for them to know is that there are resources and people that they can approach for help and support. Our aim is to put a face to our service, and to normalize seeking help and hopefully to reduce stigma.

After that, students are welcome to ask us for one-on-one counselling if they are having difficulties or if they have concerns about their environment and so on.  Sometimes these concerns are adjustment issues that pass with time, but sometimes more serious or pre-existing mental health issues can emerge. I always try to contextualize international student concerns within their social-cultural environment, by trying to understand how privilege, social and classroom dynamics, and their social experience impacts their mental well-being. Being away from your usual sources of support, experiences of exclusion or marginalization, and micro aggressions can cause an impact on mental health.

We also provide workshops to staff and faculty on multi-cultural competencies, and identifying the unique needs and issues of a diverse student population. I think “adjustment” has to be a two way process; it is not just about international students adjusting to Queen’s; the system has to adjust to the changing demographics of the student population as well.

We also try to advocate on behalf of our international students based on issues that we are seeing, the trends, what we think will be helpful for students to have a positive experience, and what is important to prevent mental health difficulties.

What sparked your interest in this field?

I am very interested in the social determinants of mental health and wellness. When I was training to be a psychologist, I noticed that these were often a missing piece in our interventions; the social-cultural contexts in which distress or issues were occurring were not being given full attention. I noticed that we needed to address not just the presenting issue, but also the contexts in which it is occurring. That is what got me interested in this work.

I firmly believe in using a strengths based, multicultural, equity, and social justice lens in my counselling and advocacy work. I also feel that if Canadian universities are actively recruiting international students, we really need to provide equitable learning environments, as well as culturally competent and meaningful services to our students.

How does your work feed into International Education efforts at Queen’s?

I hope that the work that we do provides support to international students to be well and really thrive during their time here.

As counsellors, we also have the privilege of hearing personal stories from students – their experiences, what are their struggles, disappointments, and successes. I think this information is important to share with senior administration and other decision makers when they design programs, equitable classrooms, support services, etc.

What needs to be addressed to see fewer mental health issues in the international student population?

First, helping students adapt to the academic culture. Academic difficulties cause vulnerability and it can be the beginning of distress. Students are spending a lot of money to come here, they have important academic and career goals that are important to them, so feeling that their goals are in jeopardy can erode their sense of wellbeing. I think that investing in providing early informational and academic support is very important. More TAs and time with TAs will also be helpful.

The second piece is helping students to achieve a sense of connection and community. Being part of a community, establishing a sense of belonging, and connectedness is critical to both academic success and student wellness. As a university, we need to encourage our population to cross demographic boundaries and connect with each other. Many of the undergraduate international students that I have seen say that they feel invisible and often excluded on this campus which is a problem.

What’s the biggest challenge in your role?

The biggest challenge for me is how to help international students who are feeling isolated and marginalized – how to help them build community and make connections. Facilitating a more integrated student body is a challenge. Right now we have pockets of different ethnic groups – I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that, we do need to be with people who are similar to us – but we also need to cross those demographic boundaries and to connect as a cohesive community.  We have been working with the Peer Support Centre, who have shown a lot of interest in fostering multicultural competency, to see what the student body can do to encourage a more inclusive student community. I do feel that these efforts need to come from students to be truly meaningful and successful.

I think as a university, our awareness of these issues of diversity, inclusion and equity awareness is growing. But, how do you encourage students to cross those demographic boundaries?

What’s the most rewarding aspect of your work?

The most rewarding aspect is working with this wonderful and diverse group of students. I have learned so much from them! Being present with a student in their moment of need or self-doubt, and helping them connect with their strengths is so rewarding. Helping them name what is going on for them in terms of the environment when they are blaming themselves, changing these attributions is so important. To intervene, to be of service and be part of their journey of claiming space and building a sense of belonging, achieving their personal and academic goals is very rewarding.

What can people around campus do be more inclusive of students going through intercultural adjustment?

We all create the climate at Queen’s and so we bear the responsibility of creating an inclusive and equitable campus. We should try to create opportunities to bring diverse people together and demonstrate the importance of connection. We can work at learning about the experiences of international students not just by attending workshops, but actually applying what we have learned. But most importantly, we can connect at an individual level, be a welcoming and supportive student body and campus, and learn from each other.

We don’t necessarily need to leave Canada to learn about other people and places, we can do it right here on campus. Globalization has to begin right here, in our day-to day interactions!

Fall Convocation: Day 2

  • A PhD recipient looks for his family as he shakes hands with Chancellor Jim Leech, while Principal Daniel Woolf and Rector Cam Yung look on.
    A PhD recipient looks for his family as he shakes hands with Chancellor Jim Leech, while Principal Daniel Woolf and Rector Cam Yung look on.
  • Debbie Docherty speaks after receiving an honorary degree from Queen's during Wednesday afternoon's convocation ceremony.
    Debbie Docherty speaks after receiving an honorary degree from Queen's during Wednesday afternoon's convocation ceremony.
  • A member of the audience takes a video of honorary degree recipient Debbie Docherty as she delivers her speech Wednesday during Fall Convocation.
    A member of the audience takes a video of honorary degree recipient Debbie Docherty as she delivers her speech Wednesday during Fall Convocation.
  • Grant Hall is filled during the fourth ceremony of Fall Convocation on Wednesday, Nov. 15.
    Grant Hall is filled during the fourth ceremony of Fall Convocation on Wednesday, Nov. 15.
  • A PhD recipient is hooded by Kim McAuley, Associate Dean, School of Graduate Studies, during Wednesday afternoon's convocation ceremony at Grant Hall.
    A PhD recipient is hooded by Kim McAuley, Associate Dean, School of Graduate Studies, during Wednesday afternoon's convocation ceremony at Grant Hall.

Fall Convocation entered its second day at Queen’s University with two ceremonies at Grant Hall.

An honorary degree was conferred upon Debbie Docherty, who spent much of her career at Hotel Dieu Hospital in Kingston for years and served as a mentor to Queen’s students in occupational therapy, nursing, medicine and physiotherapy. She also worked internationally with the Queen’s International Center for the Advancement of Community Based Rehabilitation.

Fall Convocation concludes on Thursday with the final two of the six ceremonies.

See photos from Tuesday's ceremonies.

For a full schedule, visit the website of the Office of the University Registrar.

Balancing thousands of relationships

Ryan Rodrigues, Associate Vice-Principal (Alumni Relations and Annual Giving).
Ryan Rodrigues, Associate Vice-Principal (Alumni Relations and Annual Giving), joined Queen's in July.

The Gazette sat down with Ryan Rodrigues, the newly appointed Associate Vice-Principal of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving, to learn about the experience he brings to the role, and his views on coming to Queen’s, educational fundraising, and our school’s alumni culture.

What is your first impression of Queen’s so far?

What’s struck me at Queen’s is the culture of the community, and the alumni body in particular. I just witnessed my first homecoming just over a month ago, and to see nearly 100 groups come back for reunions, and to learn about the traditions and the history of Queen’s, has been much more than I expected.

Both the Kingston and Queen’s communities have been very welcoming to me and my family.

What sort of background are you bringing to your new role?

In the past, a lot of the leaders of Alumni Relations at Queen’s have been products of Queen’s. To be in my role and not be an alumnus of the institution is rare, here.

I’ve worked at the University of Guelph, Ryerson University, Western University, the University of Toronto, and the University of Pennsylvania, so those experiences have given me great insights to bring to this role. I’ve worked in Advancement roles, including Annual Giving and Alumni Relations, as well as in Recruitment roles within the faculty in universities; at University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management and at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.

These experiences have helped me see how units like Advancement can support the faculties, but I’ve also had the advantage of being part of a faculty, and being supported by the university services I’m part of now. I understand the position of the faculty. That’s been extremely helpful, specifically to this role.

I’ve worked in most of the provinces in Canada, in over 20 countries, and I’ve worked in all of the Queen’s Innovation Nodes key global cities. That’s also helpful in furthering Queen’s business relationships.

What drives your passion for philanthropy and community?

My parents came to Canada from East Africa in 1972, and I was born in Toronto. They came here because they wanted to give me a better life, and they did.

I grew up in Guelph, Ontario, which is quite similar to Kingston, in that it’s a university town and both my parents were adjunct faculty at the University of Guelph and also business people in the community. That town and gown relationship is something I’m quite familiar with, albeit in Guelph.

I got to go to great schools, and I came to the realization that not everyone can go to great schools, many because of the lack of financial capacity. I’m driven to equal the playing field through fundraising. Educational fundraising has been my driving passion.

I do a lot of volunteer work in the local community as well because I feel I have been given so much, I want to give back.

Coming to Queen’s, seeing the principal’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, is very important to me. I think it’s the right time for me to be at Queen’s and I hope I can contribute immeasurably to the community.

How does Alumni Relations and Annual Giving fit into Queen’s?

Our team deals with the full student lifecycle. We strive to engage our 140,000+ alumni, in over 140 countries, to support Queen’s priorities. We connect people with opportunities to volunteer and give back to the Queen’s community on local, national, and international levels. We also work with our alumni to assist with recruitment, because our alumni are our best brand ambassadors.

We also organize homecoming and reunions, so we’re trying to keep classes connected to the school. Also on the philanthropy side, we had approximately 100 groups come to homecoming. A large number of them did class giving campaigns, so they banded together and donated towards a specific cause or project, or to the school’s greatest need, or to a student need, like bursaries and scholarships.

We also have the Queen’s University Alumni Association (QUAA), a dedicate group of volunteers who help foster engagement of alumni in various parts of the world and in Canada. I like to say that these engaged alumni volunteers are valued and integral partners who are a catalyst to our work.

Can you talk a little more about the alumni body and philanthropy?

Many of our alumni are donors. During the last campaign, we saw this wonderful outpouring of support through people volunteering, and also through their philanthropic support to Queen’s. That’s where Annual Giving comes in. Our Queen’s Telefundraising Students call our alumni, update them on what’s happening at the university, and keep them connected to the university. People give back generously to the great causes at Queen’s. We see it as a paying it forward philosophy. Many of the great elements to Queen’s – the buildings, the facilities – will have wonderful donor names on them, and they’ve enhanced what Queen’s has been able to do over many years.

Philanthropy is nothing new at Queen’s, it started with our first principal, and it continues now. It’s my office’s privilege to serve the university and to continue that spirit of volunteerism and philanthropy to make Queen’s even better and keep us at the top of the pack.

What’s your next step to get involved with Queen’s?

It’s not hard for me to get involved with a lot and get excited. I’m curious in nature. I have not gone to Queen’s as a student yet, but that’s actually something I’m hoping to do. I want to formally register as a student and engage in academic life, whether that’s another master’s degree or specific course work.

I’m also excited to become a fan of Queen’s. I’m a varsity athlete, from Western University, so it’s easy for me to cheer for the teams that I’ve been part of. I’m excited to see our Gaels compete at every opportunity I can. Seeing the student-athletes of Queen’s, cheering, and bleeding tricolour for the teams is a really importance piece to me joining this community.       

What’s the number one priority for you and your team over the next year?

Continuing to support our volunteers and donors, while seizing new opportunities to move people to extraordinary levels of support for Queen’s. We’re continuously recognizing the outstanding volunteerism and donations to our institution. That work never ends, and it’s always the top priority.

By recognizing alumni engagement and philanthropic support we strengthen our alumni community culture and model the way for current students to follow.

What’s the biggest challenge coming up for Alumni Relations and Annual Giving?

The biggest challenge is engaging an exponentially growing group of alumni. We’re graduating more students now than we’ve ever had in the past – over 50 per cent of our alumni have graduated in the last 20 years. Reaching that many people, keeping good contact information, and engaging that many people is a challenge. This becomes a volume game, so we have to leverage things like technology, but technology can only build a certain type of relationship.

The human element is hugely important to the work that we do. We don’t want to whittle it down or dilute it, we work to maintain many valuable personal relationships. That’s the challenge: balancing thousands and thousands of relationships for Queen’s, and ensuring that we’re keeping in touch, and that we’re keeping up with the times as well.

What mark would you like to make in this role?

I like the adage of leaving a job better than you were given it. I’ve inherited a wonderful team and alumni body that is so passionate and loyal to Queen’s. My goal is to magnify that. It may be challenging because of scale, but that’s the nut that I need to crack.

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