Office of Advancement
Office of Advancement

ALTogether Now

Vol. 84 – February 1, 2021

Scott Anderson, Deanna Bennett, Karen Bertrand, Michelle Fuko, Stephen Hornsby, Leigh Kalin


photo of Deanna Bennett

By Deanna Bennett, Executive Director, Office of the Vice-Principal

Advancing Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility (IDEAS) 

The Advancing IDEAS committee continues to work on a plan of action to advance EDII in Advancement.  We know we have much work to do. This work will take many forms, involve all Advancement staff, and our efforts and progress will be ongoing. Today I want to tell you about two new Advancement initiatives and remind you of one university initiative that will provide us with opportunities to learn together:

Advancement EDII Reading Initiative

As part of its continuing education plan, the Board is undertaking an initiative that will involve reading two to three books each year and engaging in deep discussion on the issues they raise during their meetings.  ALT is following their lead, and the first book for this initiative is White Fragility, by Robin DiAngelo, and we would like to invite our colleagues across Advancement to read this book with us.  If you need the book, just fill out this form and we will send you one.  In April, the Advancing IDEAS group will host a facilitated "book club meeting" for Advancement staff to discuss White Fragility, so stay tuned for more information.

Erin Leblanc, author of Stranger in the Mirror: The Search For Me

Watch for an invite to hear from Queen's very own Erin Leblanc, when she visits Advancement in March. As an advocate for the LGBT community focusing on assisting transgender people, Ms. LeBlanc has been a guest speaker at schools, companies, and organizations, a presenter at the Transgender Day of Remembrance, a member of Trans Family Kingston (a support group for transgender people and their families), and quoted in print and online media. She is a co-host of a weekly radio show discussing current issues impacting LGBTQ+ people with a focus on the transgender community specifically, and past member of the board of Kingston Pride. In 2017, she was the recipient of the Tri-Award (accessibility, equity, and human rights) from Queen’s for her work in establishing transgender transitioning guidelines and identifying and removing barriers for individuals transitioning in the workplace. A Queen’s graduate in Economics and Psychology, she also holds a master's degree in Higher Education Policy from the University of Toronto, as well being a graduate of Queen's Master of Law Program specializing in International Trade Law.

Mandatory Training

Recently Principal Deane announced a new mandatory Working Together staff training.  This interactive online training should take approximately 60 minutes to complete and is mandatory for USW local 2010, CUPE, ONA, OPSEU, General Staff grades 2-9 and Research Grant and Contract staff. The Advancing IDEAS committee invites our colleagues to join us in completing this training as soon as possible.   To fulfill its reporting obligations, the university will track all employees who complete the training, and we would love to have 100% compliance by the end of the fiscal year. Here is the link to Working Together (


Building a Better Workplace

Last Tuesday, Lisa Sansom from Organizational Development briefed Advancement managers on the details of our Building a Better Workplace initiative. (Here is a link to the presentation.) As a reminder, there are five stages for this initiative:

  • Definition: determine or define the overall focus for the initiative
  • Discovery: consultation and dialogue, as a way of finding what works
  • Dream: imagining what could be
  • Decision: determining what should be
  • Delivery:  creating what will be

The timeline is tight as we want to complete the Dream stage before the March break and the Decision stage by the end of the fiscal year.  And we need your help!

With the Definition stage complete -- "to create a collaborative, inclusive, and inspiring environment that works for all of us, wherever we happen to be" -- we are moving into the Discovery stage. ALT would like to gain insights through consultation from all Office of Advancement employees, volunteers from Faculty Advancement teams, and a few external partners from across campus. 

Over the next several weeks, participants will be paired up to take part in a "discovery interview," which will be followed by virtual sessions where groups of pairs will discuss their findings.  We expect the time commitment for this stage to be approximately two hours.  A discovery interview protocol is being drafted that will help lead us through this stage.  More information will be sent to the participants by email.

Finally, It's February

I don’t know about you, but wasn’t January loooong?  But finally, it is February!  This time last year we were still relatively unaware of what was to come. What a difference a year makes!  Let's face it, 2020 was hard and it felt like we stumbled, fell, and crawled into the holidays with a collective sigh of relief.  Returning in 2021 may have felt like hitting a brick wall.  It looks like this year will require just as much from us as 2020 did. I know you are tired, and sometimes it feels like there is not much left, which is exactly why we need to stick together, find connection, calm, and reasons to celebrate.  February 8 to 12, Queen’s Human Resources is hosting A little Thrive to boost your February. Visit the Thrive website to view and register for events.

If you need more reasons to find joy and connection, read on for a list of things to make your February, or someone else's February, a bit brighter:

  • Feb. 9 is National Pizza Day.  Celebrate by having a virtual pizza party with your coworkers or  a pizza dinner with your family. Check out Chatelaine's 21 Pizza Recipes That Might Be Better Than Delivery for homemade pizza ideas.
  • Feb. 11 is Make a Friend Day, so reach out and make a new friend or reconnect with friends you haven’t seen in a while. The important thing here is to connect!
  • Feb. 17 is Random Acts of Kindness Day. Actually Feb. 14- 20 is Random Acts of Kindness Week.  Scientific evidence shows us the positive effects of doing kind acts for others, as well as receiving or even witnessing kindness. Even the smallest act of kindness can change a life. Here is a list of 35 Random Acts of Kindness You can do While Social Distancing.
  • Feb. 20 is National Love Your Pet Day, which is the perfect day to annoy your pet by showering them with lots of love and, if you haven’t already, post pictures on the Advancement Staff Pet Page.
  • Feb. 28, believe it or not, is National Public Sleeping Day. So if you feel the need to take a nap in public, Feb. 28 is the day to do it. On this day it is perfectly acceptable to take a rest whenever -- or wherever -- you are.

icon of person with bar graph beside themHome Office Expense and Supplies

Employees who worked from home in 2020 will be able to claim a deduction on their tax return. There are two methods that can be used to claim home office expenses for 2020 (a simplified ‘flat rate’ method and a ‘detailed” method). Queen’s Financial Services will be sending more information on eligibility and tools to help you determine what works best for you.



Key to Success graphicJobs with Advancement

We need your recruitment help. Know great talent that would be a good addition to our team? If so, please promote the vacancies below with your networks and let’s find some amazing new team members.

Applications (including a cover letter and résumé) must be submitted through CareerQ. For additional information on this posting, please reach out to either Carla or the hiring manager for the position you are interested.


Available Position:

Senior Development Officer, Principal Gifts Principal Gifts, Department of Development Fabruary 19, 2021 10
Administrative Assistant, Advancement Marketing Communications & Donor Relations Advancement Marketing, Communications & Donor Relations February 3, 2021 6

QUBS lodge

Fun fact

Queen's University Biological Station (QUBS)

The Queen's University Biological Station (QUBS) is one of the premier scientific field stations in Canada. For almost 70 years, researchers and students have gathered at QUBS to conduct leading-edge research and participate in courses spanning ecology, evolution, conservation, geography, and environmental science.