Six people awarded Distinguished Service Award

Accomplishments range from health and safety policy to Athletics and Recreation

The in-person reception was held at the Isabel Bader Centre. 
Photo: 

The Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts was home to the Distinguished Service Awards reception on the evening of Nov. 4. 

The award, which was inaugurated by the University Council in 1974 and is given out annually, seeks to recognize the accomplishments of individuals who have made extraordinary positive contributions to Queen’s University. These accomplishments are meant to have a lasting impact on community members. 

This year, six individuals were given the honour, with contributions ranging from working as the executive director of Athletics and Recreation (A&R), to supporting the University’s response to COVID-19. 

In his opening remarks, Principal Patrick Deane said the six recipients made exemplary contributions that touched many lives. Marcus Wong, ArtSci ’03 and University Council vice-chair introduced the award recipients. 

Leslie Dal Cin, retired, and first female executive director of A&R, was recognized for her work spearheading facility redevelopment, and mental health and EDII work. In her acceptance speech, Dal Cin emphasized the work A&R did as a team.

For her dedication to student improvement and her work in the creation of the Health Sciences Offices of Professional Development and Educational Scholarship, Dr. Leslie Flynn, ArtSci ’78, and a former vice-dean was awarded. She was lauded for her work in medical education. 

Dan Langham, director of environmental health and safety at Queen’s, was awarded for his leadership throughout the University’s COVID-19 response. His work—which included policy, program, and service development—was cited as being instrumental to the University’s operations. 

“One of the things I've always stressed throughout my career here at the University was that we needed to be a partner in academics and research,” Langham said in an interview with The Journal.

With the pandemic waning, Langham said his team can pick-up projects which were on hold during the pandemic. He said COVID-19 provided an important perspective on many policies his team is currently re-working. 

Chancellor Emeritus Jim Leech, MBA ’73, was awarded for his dedicated contributions as a philanthropist, and for his close to seven-year stint as chancellor. 

Chancellor Emeritus Leech said the most touching part of his work has been seeing the positive impact of bursaries and initiatives on students during his tenure as chancellor. 

“'I’m really excited about the new strategic plan that [Deane] authored, and [Doug] Ford got behind, which pushes us towards looking at the UN measures of sustainability on a global basis,” Leech said in an interview with The Journal

Leech’s belief is that Queen’s and students should look to do more good in the world. He said the University is perfectly positioned to do good, saying those are the people Queen’s should attract and incubate. 

Dr. Donald Raymond, Sci ’84 and Emeritus Chair of the Board of Trustees, was awarded for his service on the Board through seeing changes in the systems of governance. 

He was awarded for his work promoting responsible investment strategies and fostering relations with student leaders during the overhaul of the student conduct system. Raymond sat on the Board following the 2008 financial recession and worked to tackle challenges then. 

Vice-Principal (Research) Kimberly Woodhouse was also among the awardees. She was awarded for her work as the first female Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, where she pushed for a change in engineering education. 

Woodhouse was recognized for her role in advocating a link between teaching, research, and industry. 

“I think the most important thing that I did in terms of taking down the gender barriers was to be present and be the dean who was the first woman, and to be an example and a role model,” Woodhouse said in an interview with The Journal

When she attended university recruiting events, students were able to see a woman who was an engineer and enjoyed being an engineer. This is something Woodhouse believes was important. 

During her time at Queen’s, Woodhouse marks the development of the Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre—developed with colleagues at the Smith School of Business—and the Indigenous Futures in Engineering Programme as key highlights that were rewarding. 

Principal Deane spoke to the close relationships he’s develop with the award recipients. He said he values all these relationships and spoke to the winners’ “array” of work and experiences.

“What's unique about this institution is how tight a community it is [...] In the end, we have a single goal, which is for this to be an outstanding institution where students have a first-class experience where they grow as human beings, and where the research is cutting edge and addresses global issues,” Deane said in an interview with The Journal

Reflecting on the award winners, and the role of higher education, Deane said the University is a place that wants to make a difference at a time when the world faces very significant challenges.

He said the contributions from the six award winners allowed Queen’s to achieve the goal of making a difference. 

With files from Curtis Heinzl

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