Two weeks ago, I got COVID. It was my first time, and I am still reeling from its effects. 

Overall, I should not be surprised that I got it. The last several months have been tremendously stressful for me, both personally and professionally. My father passed away, my husband had a significant injury, a few personal family issues took quite a lot of my bandwidth, and I have had to mentor some close friends and former colleagues through some of their own work stress.  Oh, and of course, ongoing work combined with a regularity of travel that I was somewhat unfamiliar with since COVID. So, I suppose my immune system was ripe for the picking. 

But I also made a big mistake. I didn’t practice what I preached: self-compassion. My first week of COVID, I scaled back my calendar but continued to do PDPs and dealt with some critical work matters. I didn’t take the time I needed to rest. 

So, heading into week two, I cut back even more and forgave myself for the meetings I missed and relied on the people around me that I trust to continue to move things forward. 

I’m getting better. I am still suffering from the lingering effects of COVID, but I feel like I am on the mend. Mostly, it was a good reminder about the importance of self-care. 

If you are like me, you likely push yourself too hard. And you feel -- very deeply and very personally -- the negative effects of what is happening at work, whether it is in your control or not. And you likely encourage self-care in others and are extraordinarily compassionate with others when they are sick are unable to be fully present. And yet, if you are like me, you don’t often do the same for yourself. 

We are all works in progress and, honestly, this is one of my greatest failings. And I am working on it. I have a sticky note by my computer that reads “I commit to self-compassion,” and I always try to remind myself of that. But sometimes, we need the help of others to remind us of that. And for those of you who did that for me, thank you. 

And part of this self-care is now embedded in policy. Recently, the Queen’s Senior Leadership team has approved a new Employee Disconnecting from Work Policy. The policy, which took effect June 2, 2022, in compliance with requirements set out by the province, encourages employees to disconnect from work outside of work hours in support of a work-life balance. 

Employee Experience Survey

A huge thank you to everyone who participated in the employee experience survey. Your feedback and thoughts will be invaluable to understanding our culture here at Queen’s, and the changes we need to make to improve or enhance it. Because many of you took the time to respond, we had a response rate of 88.7%. The overall response rate for the university was 67% and the goal was 50%. 

And since we are on the topic of surveys…

Share your experience with the Advancement Leadership Team

Just a reminder that we still have an internal survey we are hoping everyone will complete to help us better understand how effectively we’re leading in relation to our hybrid work environment, how effectively we’re communicating with you, and whether we’re actually helping make your work lives easier. The survey will close June 17.

Reunited for Advancement Enhancement Day - June 15

In case you missed it, this Wednesday is our highly anticipated Advancement Enhancement Day.  This will be our first completely hybrid all-staff gathering in more than two years. Of course, in-person attendance is optional and we know not everyone will be able to make it to campus, so we are working with Baldwin Audio Visual Solutions to assist us in providing virtual attendees with a great experience.  

Whether you’re joining us online or on campus, everyone is invited to start the day at Ban Righ Dining Hall on Bader Lane.  We’ll share introductions and enjoy a featured presentation on Learning to Recharge, brought to you in partnership with the Queen’s Staff Wellness Centre. Please bring some art supplies – coloured pencils, crayons, or markers – whatever you have on hand.

The dress code is casual, but if you have tricolour pride, we encourage everyone to show their spirit.  You can also post photos to the Advancement Staff Teams channel to share your experience with everyone.

Don’t forget: Your challenge for the day is to introduce yourself to at least three people you don’t work with all the time.  

The Advancement Enhancement Day committee is super excited to bring you this fun-filled day with your Advancement colleagues, and we look forward to seeing you on June 15!

Registration is available until Tuesday, June 14.

JDUC Revitalization Project update

By Angel Schur, Associate Director, Marketing, Communications, and Donor Relations

Having worked entirely from home since March 2020, I haven’t really left my neighbourhood much. Up until our in-person week in March, my campus visits were limited to sporadic drive throughs. These visits really emphasized just how much this pandemic has impacted our university in a tangible sense. Physical recognition for our donors had to be paused, construction projects delayed, so it is really wonderful to be able to share that these activities have now resumed. Specifically, today, I want to share an update on the John Deutsch University Centre (JDUC) Revitalization Project that, with a recent gift of $5 million, is being supported through almost $10 million in donor commitments.

Internally, we have an Advancement working group that is now meeting regularly to talk about potential gift announcements for the major project donors, as well as stewardship and communications for all of our donors throughout construction until opening celebrations.

The residence and JDUC buildings have now been fully vacated and are closed to the public. A conservator came through the week of June 6 to carefully remove the principals’ portraits from Wallace Hall and store them for the duration of construction. 

As of June 1, negotiations were still underway with the general contractor, but they were close to finalizing the contract and still plan to have construction starting this month. Planned project completion is June 2024.

The floor plans are finished, but they have not yet started signage design. Queen’s has contracted Colliers Project Leaders to manage the project alongside Queen’s Facilities. I will be meeting with them and the design team regularly throughout the project to ensure that donor recognition is representative of the gifts and of our donors’ commitment to support this project and Queen’s. 

While design elements are not finalized, there is strong Indigenous presence incorporated into the new spaces. You can see an example of this illustrated in the Medicine Wheel teaching circle in the new Jim Leech Ceilidh Centre rendering. 

Rendering of the Jim Leech Ceilidh Centre


As a Queen’s student, I worked in the old PEC and spent a lot of time in the JDUC, so having the opportunity first to work so closely through the transformation of Mitchell Hall, and now the JDUC, is so meaningful to me. Being able to celebrate our donors -- and also celebrate with our donors -- makes it even more so.

Cha Gheill!

Queen’s provided an update on the JDUC project on April 6. 

A Wordle for your thoughts? RIM Awareness Month week 3

By Cheyenne Litt, Data Stewardship Specialist

Thank you to all who participated in the DG101 Quiz! And congratulations to everyone who managed to cross the Bridge of Data! Remember, data is critical to many aspects of the work we do, so we must ensure it is good quality data by managing it properly.

This week, I’m bringing Wordle back with a Records and Information Management (RIM) Awareness Month-themed Wordle game.

Guess the 7-letter RIM-related word, then submit the answer or copy and paste your results to the RIM Wordle Form by end of the day on Friday, June 17. The link to the Wordle is included on the Form. Once submitted, you’ll earn an entry into the draw for the first-place prize of a $50 Wharf and Feather Gift Card and a second-place prize of a $10 Tim Hortons Gift Card (for Office of Advancement employees only).

And don’t worry if you can’t guess the word, you will still get an entry into the draw just for attempting it. Hint: Carefully review this post! You can also check out the Advancement Business Glossary for some ideas of what a 7-letter RIM-related word might be!

Back in the winners' circle

The Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education (CCAE) handed out its annual Prix d’Excellence awards last week, and once again Queen’s Advancement has a lot to celebrate. This year, Queen’s took home four awards:

  • Gold:  Cause & Effect podcast for Best Multimedia Initiative
  • Silver: Golden Ticket Event for Best Special Event
  • Silver:  Special Email Acquisition Project for Best Advancement Services Initiative
  • Bronze: Queen’s Alumni Review, Mission to Mars for Best Photograph

Congratulations to everyone who contributed to these award-winning projects! And special thanks to Jennifer Butchart, Jeanette Hepburn, Michelle Preufer, and Adam Say, who volunteered their time to serve on the judging panels.

Jobs 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 the 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 Competition number Department Closing date Grade Type
Senior Digital Engagement Analyst J0522-0806 Marketing, Communications, and Donor Relations June 19 9 Permanent


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