I love working remotely and enjoy all the benefits of working from home. Last September everyone was remote and the return to fall term classes was online. The shift from summer to fall on campus wasn’t noticeable. This year I am struck by how much I miss the energy and enthusiasm the students bring to the start of a new school year. Seeing crowds of them walk by the quad between classes and in the lineup at Tim Hortons was a constant reminder of why we do the work we do. This year they are back, but many of us aren’t on campus to witness it! The student experience is integral to everything we do, and I am aware that I need to keep that front and centre in my mind. I don’t have to be on campus to do it. I meet regularly with our QSAA President and work with student volunteers. I encourage you to find time in your day-to-day to connect with our students. Chat with a student representative, athlete, or scholarship winner. Learn about their experience, seek their advice, and, most importantly, bring their perspectives into your work. Our students are exceptional, bright, and driven. Let’s make sure we harness their passion and bring it to life in our work with alumni and donors.
At our last Advancement Leadership Team (ALT) Q&A, a question was asked about the talent review, and Karen provided a great response explaining what is and why we do it. The talent review is a confidential, disciplined process that includes deliberate leadership conversations about staff and feedback on their performance, readiness, key strengths, retention risk, and areas of development, thereby linking the PDP, professional development, and succession planning. It is a valuable tool used to develop and retain talent which aligns with our strategic priorities and values. It happens at all levels of the organization, including at the ALT level.
The intent is to add value for the employee and Advancement by providing employees with more balanced and varied feedback than a single leader normally would, minimizing subjectivity, and providing some consistency in how staff are evaluated. A key output of the talent review process should be recommendations and ideas to help the individual grow and develop. By engaging in these conversations, we are committing to a more thoughtful review of our people, and it holds us accountable to follow through on the development actions. After the talent review, it is the responsibility of the specific manager to provide feedback to their direct report through the PDP process.
The talent review process is meant to be a regular, ongoing process and as a leadership team, we refer to it throughout the year to identify individuals ready for career or professional development opportunities, and we revisit the talent review with managers throughout the year to make sure things are on track.
Building on the success of the Class of 2020 Calling Project, Alumni Relations & Annual Giving will again be reaching out to our newest grads to help smooth their transition from students to alumni. Members of the Class of 2021 have experienced unique challenges in the last ~18 months, and we want to personally connect alumni with our graduates to ensure they feel:
- Heard – we want to listen to their stories about their time at Queen's and what they are experiencing now, including their concerns, frustrations, and expectations from Queen’s.
- Supported by Queen’s and the Queen’s alumni community, including information on job-finding resources, networking, and more.
- Welcomed into their Queen’s alumni community.
We will be making calls in two rounds, the first in late fall (beginning after Homecoming and ending in early December) and the second in winter (beginning February and ending in March). Alumni from all faculties and years are invited to join, and we will try to match alumni with students by program and/or interests to help them find common ground. Volunteers will receive training, scripts, and other resources for the project, and we will be creating an impact report to share with them so that they have a deeper understanding of the contributions they’ve made.
For more information on the Class of 2021 Calling Project, please contact Gabriela Rappell, Sc’05.
The Queen’s Community Connections Program (QCCP) was originally implemented in spring 2020 with the goal of building intergenerational connections and reducing social isolation intensified by COVID-19. This was achieved by connecting student volunteers with alumni over the age of 70 through regular friendly phone calls.
This initiative was incredibly impactful for both students and alumni, and it is also the proud winner of a highly competitive CASE District II Award (Gold) in the category of Alumni Relations Pivot.
“I felt like I was making a difference in the lives of the alumni I contacted.” - Student Volunteer, QCCP 2020-21
We will be offering QCCP again this year to foster intergenerational connections (a unique strength of the Queen's community), keep alumni informed about the current state of Queen's, and help reduce social isolation of mature alumni by connecting them with students and younger alumni for companionship.
Volunteer recruitment begins in mid-September through various student groups, faculties, and other university partners across campus, accompanied by a deliberate social media campaign. This will be followed by targeted outreach to our alumni community in October, inviting interested individuals to sign up to receive friendly phone calls from a compatible student or alumni volunteer. There will also be an opportunity for others (such as caring relatives) to refer alumni who may not be able to sign up independently through email or the online form.
The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is a newly designated day of remembrance for victims and survivors of Canada’s Indigenous residential school system. It takes place annually on Sept. 30, and all Canadians are encouraged to wear orange shirts to honour those affected and raise awareness of this part of the country’s history.
This year, following the confirmation of 215 unmarked graves on the site of a former residential school in Kamloops, B.C., the Canadian government fast-tracked and passed a bill to make Sept. 30 a statutory federal holiday, officially naming it the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
While Queen’s has recognized the day annually for some time (formerly known as Orange Shirt Day), the university is planning a broader recognition this year. This effort is being led by the Office of Indigenous Initiatives with planning and ongoing partnership and support for this year’s events provided by the Chancellor, the Principal, the Provost, the Associate Vice-Principal Teaching and Learning, the Vice-Principal (Finance & Administration), University Relations, and Procurement Services.
The Office of Indigenous Initiatives has a new webpage outlining activities on campus -- and beyond -- marking the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
The Employee Spotlight celebrates the arrival of our new staff and current staff by profiling responses they share through a fun and informal survey that will help us get to know them better. Be sure to review these profiles and use these fun facts and tidbits to find commonalities, embrace differences and spark a conversation.
Today's current Advancement staff feature is, Michelle Lean, in the position of Senior Fund Stewardship Officer, Donor Relations, Advancement Communications, Marketing and Donor Relations. Learn more about Michelle and make sure to read her fun fact.
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 Ferreira Rodrigues or the hiring manager for the position you are interested in.
|POSITION||UNIT AND DEPARTMENT||CLOSING DATE||GRADE||JOB TYPE|
|Donor Engagement Officer, Principal Gifts||Principal Gifts, Department of Development||September 26||8||Continuing|
|Donor Relations Officer, Communications and Engagement||Donor Relations, Advancement Marketing, Communications and Donor Relations||September 26||8||Term – 6 months (Until Feb 2, 2022)|
Canadian history books by Indigenous authors
Are you interested in learning more about Canadian history through an Indigenous perspective? This Indigenous book list featured as a resource by The Office of Indigenous Initiatives is a good place to start.