Past Speakers

This page contains a list of past speakers for the Canadian Club of Kingston.

Steven Heighton, Author

Date: March 10, 2022
Topic: Reaching Mithymna: Among the Volunteers and Refugees on Lesvos

Steven Heighton was born in Toronto and spent his youth there and in northern Ontario. Following some travel and work experience in western Canada and Australia, he earned a BA and MA from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. After graduation, he travelled and worked for two years in Asia before settling back in Kingston and starting to write, at first part-time and eventually full-time.


John Smol, Professor of Biology

Date: March 10, 2022
Topic: Climate Change: Longer Summers! (But why is our lake turning green?)

John Smol is a Distinguished University Professor in the Biology Department, Queen’s University. He is a Member of the Order of Canada, Canada Research Chair in Environmental Change and the President of the Academy of Science, Royal Society of Canada. He holds adjunct appointments in Canada, the U.S. and China.


Krishna Burra, Director of Administration, Limestone Board of Education

Date: January 13, 2022
Topic: Kingston Secondary School and The Effects of the Pandemic on Education

Born and raised in Kingston, Ontario, Krishna Burra was a Queen’s Concurrent Education graduate in the mid-1990s with teachables in History and Mathematics. Upon graduation, he was hired by the Frontenac County Board of Education, a precursor board for the Limestone District School Board. In ten years of teaching he taught students from Grades 7-12. For several years, Krishna served as a department head of “Global Studies.” He is a previous Queen’s Associate Teacher of the Year and Queen’s Baillie Award winner for excellence in secondary teaching.


Christian Leuprecht, Professor, Royal Military College of Canada

Date: December 15, 2021
Topic: Intelligence As Democratic Statecraft

Christian Leuprecht (Ph.D, Queen’s) is Class of 1965 Professor in Leadership in the department of Political Science and Economics at RMC. At Queen’s University he is Director of the Institute of Intergovernmental Relations at the School of Policy Studies. He is a Munk Senior Fellow in Security and Defence at the Macdonald Laurier Institute and Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Military Journal and Canadian Defence Academy Press. Christian is a former Fulbright Research Chair in Canada-US Relations at the School for Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, DC (2020) and a former Eisenhower Fellow at the NATO Defence College in Rome (2019). He is also an elected member of the College of New Scholars of the Royal Society of Canada and a recipient of RMC’s Cowan Prize for Excellence in Research.


Kathy Brock, Professor, School of Policy Studies, Queen’s University

Date: November 21, 2021
Topic: COVID-19, Government Performance and the 2021 Election

Kathy L. Brock is a professor at Queen’s University in the School of Policy Studies. She also has a cross-appointment to the Department of Political Studies. She is Chair of the National Accreditation Board for Programs in Public Administration and former President of the Canadian Association of Programs in Public Administration, as well as former National Research Chair for the Institute of Programs in Public Administration.


Dr. Amarnath Amarasingam is the Assistant Professor in the School of Religion. He is also a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, and an Associate Fellow at the International Centre for the Study of Radicalization. His research interests are in radicalization, terrorism, diaspora politics, post-war reconstruction, and the sociology of religion.


Gar Pardy, Distinguished Canadian Diplomat (Retired)

Date: May 13, 2021
Topic: The Global Ascendancy of China

Gar Pardy, a distinguished Canadian diplomat, now retired, joined the Canadian Foreign Service in 1967. He served in India, Kenya, the United States and Central America where he was Ambassador to Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama. In the late 1980s he was Director of the Asia Pacific Division in Foreign Affairs, and he retired as director general of the consular affairs bureau in 2003. However, he has maintained a strong presence in the department.


Mike Hill, Past President, Preserve Our Wrecks, Kingston

Date: April 8, 2021
Topic: The Marine Wrecks Capital of the World

Kingston’s waterfront bears little evidence of the city’s role as a centre for maritime trade and ship-building in earlier centuries. One enduring lagacy is the number of shipwrecks that lie off her shores. Mike began diving in the early 1970s, but an injury on active duty prevented him from certifying at that time. It wasn’t intil about twenty years ago that he managed to return to the sport.


Dr. Paul Robinson, Professor

Date: March 11, 2021
Topic: The World in Moscow's Eyes: How do Russians See the World and the West

Dr. Robinson is currently a full professor at Ottawa University, at the faculty of Social Sciences, working in the fields of Public and International Affairs. He teaches courses in both official languages, on a variety of topics covering Military history, Russian international relations, and various aspects of Canadian and International security.


Dr. Erika Behresch, Associate Professor of English

Date: February 11, 2021
Topic: Lady Franklin of Russell Square - Lost Franklin Expedition

Erika Behrisch grew up in Fairbanks, Alaska and spent her adolescent years and early adulthood in British Columbia, before moving to Kingston. She is professor of English, Culture and Communication at the Royal Military College of Canada. Her research is nineteenth-century naval exploration narratives, especially the parts of the story that get left out of the big history books. Her current project is on Royal Naval surgeons, and it includes an academic project and a novel.


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