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The Year at Smith

Highlights of our Year

From celebrating 100 years of Commerce to launching a global master’s program in analytics and starting a sustainable finance institute to lead Canada toward a low-carbon future, it was another busy year at Smith. Take a look at some of our highlights here.

May 2019


New chair of Smith Advisory Board named

Maryann Turcke, MBA’97, BSc (Eng)’88, was selected as the new chair of the Smith School of Business Advisory Board. The advisory board comprises experienced professionals from all sectors of business and offers advice on opportunities for Smith to expand its reach and influence in Canada and the world. Turcke is the chief operating officer of the National Football League, based in New York. She was previously the league’s president of NFL Media Group. Before that, she spent 12 years with Bell Canada.

Read more about the New chair of Smith School of Business Advisory Board announcement


Dare to Dream recipients announced

Four startups launched by Smith graduates are recipients of Dare to Dream funding: Quickefi (Newton Zheng, BCom’19), an online platform for people to rent everyday household items to others nearby; Mad Oats (Katie Callery, MMIE’17), a plant-based beverage company specializing in oat milk; CabTreks (Jasdeep Toor, MFin’19), a digital platform that links taxi drivers with retailers to support home delivery; and Otonomy (Ryan Jamieson, EMBA’19), a B2B matchmaking platform for buyers and sellers of text-sm businesses. Dare to Dream is supported by corporations and alumni and is run through the school’s Centre for Entrepreneurship, Innovation & Social Impact.

Read more about the 2019 Dare to Dream recipients

July 2019


Scotiabank commits support for analytics at Smith

Scotiabank reaffirmed its commitment to the Scotiabank Centre for Customer Analytics (SCCA) at Smith, with $2 million in additional funding, supporting the centre through to 2025. Founded in 2016 through a partnership between Scotiabank and Smith, the SCCA brings together interdisciplinary teams of professors, graduate students and analytics practitioners to collaborate on research, create new knowledge and lead the conversation about the future of big data and its applications in customer service.

Read more about how Scotiabank commits support for analytics at Smith

August 2019


Smith partners to create Global MIM Network

Smith partnered with leading international business schools to launch a new global, multiple school exchange program. The Global MIM Network comprises four partner schools: Imperial College Business School in the U.K., ESMT Berlin in Germany, SMU Lee Kong Chian School of Business in Singapore and Smith School of Business. The network allows a select number of students at each member school to take courses at one or more partner institutions.

Read more about how Smith partners to create Global MIM Network


Students win at pitch competition

Four startups led by Smith students won at the annual Dunin-Deshpande summer pitch competition: Backr, a social-media tool that promotes fan engagement while creating revenue for creators; HeroHub, an online platform that connects non-profits to would-be volunteers; Cromble, which works to use spent grain from beer brewing in a wide range of products including health foods; and Red Gold of Afghanistan, which helps women in Afghanistan achieve financial independence through saffron cultivation.

Read more about how Students win at pitch competition

September 2019


100 Years of Commerce

In 1919, Queen’s University offered the first Bachelor of Commerce degree in Canada. In September 2019, Smith School of Business welcomed its 100th Commerce class, kicking off a year of celebrations including a social media campaign and dedicated website, surprise events for Commerce students and more. The campaign and celebrations brought together past and current students through shared memories of Commerce through the years.

Read more about celebrating 100 Years of Commerce


Smith welcomes new faculty

How does regulation affect the behaviour of financial institutions? How can analytics improve lineups for customers and businesses? And how do people make sense of often ambiguous and contradictory emotional signals in the workplace? These are three questions that three new researchers at Smith School of Business are working to answer. Ling Yang, Laura Rees and Ragavendran (Raga) Gopalakrishnan joined the faculty of Smith during summer 2019. They bring to the school expertise in (respectively) accounting, organizational behaviour and operations management.

Read more about Smith welcoming new faculty


Student investment group receives $250,000

The Queen’s University Investment Counsel (QUIC) announced a renewed US$250,000 capital donation from Mackenzie Investments, bringing the pro forma value of the group’s U.S. equities fund to US$815,000. This donation represents the group’s third institutional capital fundraising effort since the establishment of QUIC in 2003, preceded by an initial C$500,000 donation from the Queen’s University Endowment in 2010 and a US$500,000 donation from Mackenzie Investments in 2014.

Social Impact

MBA students raise $14,000 for charity

Every year, Smith MBA students plan and execute a gala to raise funds for a local charity or non-profit. This year, over $14,000 was raised and ultimately donated to Elizabeth Fry Kingston, which seeks to improve the social, economic and political status of women.

October 2019


Smith places Top 50 in Financial Times ranking

The Financial Times released the FT 2019 Master’s in Management ranking, with Smith ranked first in North America, and in the Top 50 overall. The school’s Master of International Business (MIB) placed 48 out of 100 ranked programs from across the globe. The program also ranked Top 10 for international mobility, highlighting its commitment to providing students with a truly global experience, both during the program and after graduation.

Read more about Smith's Top 50 ranking in Financial Times
Financial Times


Alumni give back at Homecoming

A group shot of Commerce alumni of 1979 holding a cheque for $642,181

Nearly 400 Smith alumni came home to Goodes Hall for the annual Smith Alumni Brunch during Homecoming. In total, 19 classes returned and 17 held reunion giving campaigns that raised more than $1.6 million. Funds from these campaigns go to support student financial aid, mental health and well-being, exchange bursaries and the MBA Legacy Fund.

November 2019


Smith launches first edX program

Smith announced the launch of its first program on edX, the trusted learning platform founded by Harvard and MIT. The Professional Certificate in Enterprise Sales program is designed to develop critical skills in professional sales. Smith’s is the first professional sales course on edX, which is home to more than 20 million learners and features content from the world’s top universities and industry-leading companies. Smith is a contributing member to edX.

Read more about the launch of the first Smith edX program


New interim dean announced

Brenda Brouwer was appointed the interim dean of Smith School of Business. Brouwer followed David Saunders, whose term as dean was coming to an end and who had served the school as dean for 16 years. Previous to her new role, Brouwer completed a secondment with the Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence (AI) where she was the head of academic partnerships. Previously, she was the vice-provost and dean of the School of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs at Queen’s University for eight years.

Read more about the New interim dean

Social Impact

New Institute for Sustainable Finance to be based at Smith

Smith celebrated the launch of the Institute for Sustainable Finance (ISF). Based at Smith, the ISF aims to create the most credible and robust body of sustainable finance knowledge in Canada. As part of the launch, the ISF announced the establishment of the Canadian Sustainable Finance Network (CSFN), an independent alliance of academics, researchers and educators who will address the most pressing question of our time–how to create a healthy sustainable economy.

Read more about the New Institute for Sustainable Finance
Institutue for Sustainable Finance


Smith recognizes excellence among faculty and PhD students

Four Smith faculty received awards for research, teaching and supervision. Professors Tina Dacin and Shamel Addas were honoured for their academic research, Dacin with the 2019 Award for Research Excellence and Addas the New Researcher Achievement Award. Professors Julian Barling and Tandy Thomas were acknowledged for their work with students in the PhD and MSc programs. Barling won the Research Supervision Award and Thomas the Teaching Excellence Award.

Read more about Smith recognizing excellence among faculty and PhD students

December 2019


Smith awards UPstart entrepreneurs

The fourth annual UPstart Venture Challenge saw eight teams pitch their startups to a panel of Smith and Queen’s alumni in the hopes of winning a share of the $55,000 prize. Three businesses won a share of the pot: Pawzy, (Kerri-Lynn McAllister, BCom’07), an online pet platform; The Gist (Jacie deHoop, Ellen Hyslop, and Roslyn McLarty, all BCom’14), a sports news and media company created by women for women; and Forvera Heath (Newton Zheng, BCom’19), a mobile vision-care marketplace.

Read more about Smith awarding UPstart entrepreneurs
The winners of the pitch competition holding a cheque for $30,000

January 2020


Smith unveils new brand marketing

A new brand marketing campaign was launched for Smith, part of a larger, ongoing, integrated effort to promote the school. The campaign’s tagline, “Always On”, represents an attitude required in business today. The campaign creative flags how broad developments in the world around us—whether in culture, society or the environment—are relevant to the effective management of business. “Always On” is also representative of the approach at Smith—seeing what business leaders will need for the future and providing education and development to meet those needs.

Read more about Smith unveiling new brand marketing


Full-Time MBA program welcomes record number of women

The Smith Full-Time MBA program celebrated an exciting milestone with the welcoming of the class of 2021: 44 per cent of the students in the class are women—an all-time high for the program and higher than Ivey (33%) and Rotman (42%). The contingent of female MBA candidates also includes 13 Forté Fellows, who receive tuition support as well as access to a global network of peers and resources through the Forté Foundation, an international organization that encourages women to advance their business careers.

Social Impact

Cure Cancer Classic raises record amount

Cure Cancer Classic (CCC) hosted its fourth annual Commerce–Engineering rivalry hockey game. The event sold out for the first time, bringing 5,000 fans to the Leon’s Centre from Queen’s University and the Kingston community. Ticket sales from the event raised over $107,000 after a dollar-for-dollar match arranged through the Canadian Cancer Society, bringing the group’s year-to-date fundraising total to over $183,000. Funds were donated to the Canadian Cancer Society, benefitting the Huang Lab for brain cancer research at The Hospital for Sick Children.


Queen’s Executive Education launches new AI programs

Queen’s Executive Education launched two new programs to meet the growing demand for professional development and training in AI concepts and strategies. ""Trusted Data & AI for Canadian Business" teaches ethical principles and decision-making involved in AI development. "AI Jumpstart for Managers" provides the foundational basics of AI so managers can get a handle on this big and complex topic. The programs are based on the expertise of faculty at Smith, Queen’s University and industry leaders.

Read more about launch of new AI programs


SVP at Walt Disney becomes chair of Smith Analytics and AI Advisory Board

Mark Shafer, senior vice-president of decision science and integration at The Walt Disney Company, was appointed chair of Smith’s analytics and AI advisory board. As a global leader in teaching the management of data analytics and artificial intelligence, Smith draws on the deep industry knowledge of its advisory board to develop programs that meet market needs and help bridge the analytics and AI talent shortage. Shafer took over as chair from Mike Durland, retired group head and CEO global banking and markets at Scotiabank.

Read more about SVP from Walt Disney becoming chair of Smith Analytics and AI Advisory Board

February 2020


New analytics master’s degree program starts

Smith welcomed the inaugural class in the Global Master of Management Analytics (GMMA) program. The GMMA is the third master’s program at Smith that focuses on analytics. The other two are the Master of Management Analytics and the Master of Management in Artificial Intelligence. The GMMA is designed for working professionals from across Canada and around the world, with students gaining a deep understanding of how to use data analytics to solve business challenges and lead high-performing analytics teams.

Social Impact

EMBA students give back

As part of their Creativity and Innovation residential session, Smith Executive MBA students took part in a day of problem-solving and teamwork activities. One station saw teams assemble 18 bicycles, which were donated to the YMCA of Eastern Ontario to be given to children in the local community. “At Smith, we are studying to be high-impact business leaders. The decisions we make will affect our people, their families and the community that we are in. It is important to recognize the potential impact that we can have,” noted Kevin Abma, EMBA’21.

March 2020


Connecting with schools around the world

Smith continued to grow its global network in order to give students the chance to study abroad, adding six partner schools in the 2019-20 year: Zhejiang University, School of Management (China); European School of Management and Technology, ESMT (Germany); Cologne University (Germany); Imperial College London (U.K.) and London Business School (U.K.). Smith also added the first partner school in Peru: Universidad del Pacífico. As of this year, Smith has partnerships with 128 schools in 39 countries.


Smith launches coronavirus webinar series

With COVID-19 on the rise, affecting businesses and the way people work, Smith Business Insight, the thought leadership platform for Smith, launched a series of weekly webinars designed to help participants navigate the rapid changes taking place at work and in the economy. Webinars included though-provoking panel sessions featuring Smith and Queen’s University alumni, as well as educational sessions led by Smith faculty on topics such as “Leadership in turbulent times” and “Decision-making in a crisis”.

April 2020

Social Impact

Smith helps community organizations during the pandemic

With businesses in Kingston facing uncertainty amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Smith joined forces with the City of Kingston and Kingston Economic Development to provide student and faculty resources. Under the banner of the Kingston Region Business Support Network, free services were offered, including student time and skills, and community classroom learning sessions taught by Smith faculty on topics designed for local business needs. Free webinars led by Smith faculty and instructors were designed specifically for regional businesses. Organizations could also tap into student expertise for help with research, strategic planning, sales and marketing, e-commerce, design thinking and more.

Read more about Smith helping community organizations during the pandemic


Commerce students win big at case competitions

Smith students scored big at case competitions in recent months, taking home Top 3 finishes at the following international competitions: CBS Case Competition in Denmark; BI International Case Competition in Norway; Champions Trophy Case Competition in New Zealand; Thammasat Undergraduate Business Challenge in Thailand; Chulalongkorn International Business Case Competition in Thailand; International Case Competition at Maastricht in the Netherlands; and CaseIT in Vancouver


"Smart” student idea wins top prize

Traktab, a company that has created a smart pillbox to remotely track medication usage, won the top prize at the annual Paul & Tom Kinnear Business Plan competition from the Centre for Business Venturing. The winning team includes two Smith Commerce students, Vinson Lee and Matthew Mastromarco. They were awarded $5,000 to further develop their product, which allows family members to remotely track whether seniors are taking their medication.

Read more about student idea winning top prize


Team Canada athletes enrol at Smith

COC Game Plan

Smith and the Canadian Olympic Committee announced that 11 Team Canada athletes are returning to school to build their business skills after years of competitive sport. As part of an eight-year partnership between Smith and the COC launched in 2016, up to 1,200 national team athletes are eligible for academic scholarships. Smith’s scholarship program is part of the support that the COC’s Game Plan offers athletes in preparation for life after sport. Among this year’s class is five-time Olympic figure skating medalist Tessa Virtue, who enrolled in Smith’s Executive MBA program.

Read more about Team Canada athletes enrolling at Smith

May 2020


Smith professor Julian Barling receives top research honour

Smith organizational behaviour professor Julian Barling was among this year’s recipients of the Distinguished University Professor designation. It is Queen’s University’s highest research-related honour and recognizes professors for exhibiting outstanding research records, teaching excellence and significant and impactful contributions to Queen’s and the world.

Read more about Julian Barling receiving top research honour


Queen’s Executive Education ranked Top 30 in the world

The Financial Times ranked the Queen’s Executive Education open enrollment programs at Smith among the Top 30 in the world. The ranking was based on a range of criteria, including ratings from program participants, course design, faculty, teaching methods and facilities offered to students.

Read more about Top 30 in the world ranking for Executive Education


Smith and Queen’s Law launch AI-powered legal tools

Smith and Queen’s Faculty of Law partnered to develop MyOpenCourt, a project from the Conflict Analytics Lab at Queen’s. The web-based platform helps people understand their options in situations where legal rights are unclear. Two free tools use artificial intelligence and data science technology to provide legal guidance. The “Am I an employee or contractor?” tool helps determine the likelihood that a work arrangement is an employment relationship or that of a contractor. Workers who believe they have been wrongfully dismissed can use the “How much severance am I entitled to?” tool to calculate reasonable notice.

Read more about launching AI-powered legal tools


Smith wins INFORMS UPS George D. Smith prize

INFORMS, the leading international association for professionals in operations research and analytics, awarded Smith the 2020 UPS George D. Smith prize. The award recognizes excellence in preparing students to become practitioners of operations research and analytics. Smith submitted its world-class analytics ecosystem to the competition. Following the success of its Master of Management Analytics (MMA) program, launched in 2013, Smith has continued to build analytics bench strength with corporate and industry partnerships as well as the launch of the Master of Management in Artificial Intelligence and Global Master of Management Analytics programs.

Read more about Smith winning INFORMS UPS George D. Smith prize