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Leaders, alumni discuss women as philanthropists

On a warm spring afternoon in Toronto recently, Queen’s welcomed 85 alumni to a Celebrating Women as Philanthropists event. The intent was to spark conversation about what influences women’s decision-making regarding philanthropy. 

[Carole Morrison]
Ban Righ Centre Director Carole Morrison was one of 85 women who attended a Women as Philanthropists event held recently in Toronto. The event sparked conversation about what influences women’s decision-making regarding philanthropy.

Sponsored by TD Canada and hosted by Queen’s Board of Trustees Chair Barbara Palk (Arts’73), the event highlighted a new report from TD Wealth, called “Time, Treasure and Talent, Canadian Women and Philanthropy” which was presented by Jo-Anne Ryan, Vice-President, Philanthropic Advisory Services at TD Waterhouse Canada. Among the report’s sometimes unexpected findings:

• Over the past five years, the number of female donors in Canada has greatly exceeded  male donors
• Women are more likely than men to research and become engaged with a charity, often through volunteering, before deciding to support it
• Canadian female donors distribute their support to fewer charities but with a larger donation than male donors, so they can have a greater impact
• Affluent women are nearly twice as likely as men to say that charitable giving is the most satisfying part of having wealth

A convergence of women from across the Queen’s spectrum, the audience engaged with each other and with the panelists, who brought a diversity of perspectives and expertise spanning multiple decades.

In a spirited discussion moderated by former Queen’s staff member Alison Holt (Artsci’87) they spoke candidly about their reasons for becoming involved in philanthropy, what it has meant to them, lessons learned, and their vision for the future role of women in this area. Topics ranged from philanthropy in Africa to the importance of good governance, and the trap of the “cost per dollar raised” as a criterion for choosing which charities to support.  

Amma Bonsu (Artsci’03), a winner of the Queen’s University Alumni Association Humanitarian Award, credited her Ghanian grandmother as an important role model in giving.

“I have been a huge recipient of others’ help,” she said, acknowledging the Ban Righ Centre’s invaluable support during her years at Queen’s. “We are part of a cycle of women giving back. We don’t need to wait for wealth to come before starting to return the favour.” 

Noting the increasing percentage of women on charity boards, former Grant Hall Society Chair and Trustee Katie Macmillan (Artsci’78) urged audience members to, “step forward confidently in leadership positions. We must get past the idea that ‘women’s work’ is restricted to galas and bake sales.”

Anne Raymond (Sc’88), currently VP of Giving on the QUAA Board, suggested that philanthropy gives people a sense of fulfilment and meaning in their lives which financial success alone may not provide. “It can be the way to build a legacy and find real balance.”

For Patsy Anderson (Artsci’75), a member of the Order of Canada and the recipient of numerous awards recognizing her volunteerism, philanthropy with her husband has “enriched our lives unbelievably. We are lucky to have the opportunity to give, and tried to engage our children, when they were younger, in talking about priorities to support,” she says.

Lives Lived: Loss of an extraordinary geographer and friend

Robert Gilbert passed away on April 27 after a brave battle with cancer. We have lost an extraordinary geographer and friend.

[Professor Emeritus Robert Gilbert]
Robert Gilbert

Professor Gilbert was a highly productive, dedicated and creative scientist. He joined the Geography Department at Queen’s University in 1975 from the University of Alberta where he was a Postdoctoral Fellow.

He received his BA, MA and PhD degrees from the University of British Columbia in 1968, 1970 and 1972 respectively.

At Queen’s, his research focused on the processes that occur in lakes and the sea, especially on how sediments are delivered to, distributed through, and deposited in water bodies in the Great Lakes region, western Canada, the Canadian Arctic, Greenland, Antarctica, Nepal and the southern United States. In 2004, he and a team of international researchers discovered an active underwater volcano off the coast of Antarctica that towered 700 metres above the ocean floor. Professor Gilbert led by example through his passion for research and a deep commitment to teaching at all levels.

Professor Gilbert taught undergraduate courses in Earth System Science, physical limnology and arctic and periglacial environments. At the graduate level he taught and supervised students in lacustrine and marine systems. Throughout his distinguished career, he has been a champion for the discipline.

 Dr. Gilbert established the Robert Gilbert Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Department of Geography in 2007. The purpose of this award is to support young scholars in the field of Physical Geography/Earth System Science for a two-year postdoctoral experience.

These postdoctoral fellows work closely on research projects affiliated with a faculty member in the Department of Geography at Queen's. At the time the Fellowship was established Bob said, “it seemed like a useful thing to do in this department to enhance the research. There’s limited funding for post-docs in any field. There are always more people wanting to take up a post-doc than there are funds to support them.”

To date, the department has welcomed three Robert Gilbert Postdoctoral Fellows, with the fourth to start in July 2015.

Paul Treitz is Professor and Head of the Department of Geography  

Celebrating summer with a barbecue


  • [Queen's Summer BBQ]
    Faculty and staff turned out for some food and conversation at the annual Queen's Summer Barbecue on Tuesday
  • [Queen's Summer BBQ]
    Principal Daniel Woolf helps serve up dessert at Grant Hall on Tuesday during the Queen's Summer Barbecue.
  • [Queen's Summer BBQ]
    The rain let up long enough so that members of the Queen's community could eat their lunch outside.
  • [Queen's Summer BBQ]
    Crowds filled Grant Hall where lunch was served up for the annual Queen's Summer Barbecue on Tuesday.
  • [Queen's Summer BBQ]
    Servers included Sheilagh Dunn, executive director, Office of the Principal, and Charles Sumbler, executive director, Office of the Vice Principal (Research).

The rain let up long enough to allow staff and faculty to enjoy the Queen's Summer Barbecue outdoors on Tuesday, June 23.

Principal Daniel Woolf and other senior administrators helped Queen's Hospitality Services staff serve up a menu that included burgers and dessert as well as vegetarian and gluten-free options.

The barbecue also provided an opportunity for the Queen’s community to give back as donations of non-perishable food items were accepted on behalf of the AMS Food Bank.

HR offers online access to pay stubs, forms

Pay stubs, T4 forms and benefit summaries will soon be just a click away for Queen’s employees.

[From paper to online]
This fall, Queen's employees will have online access to view and print their pay advice slips (pay stubs). The new MyHR portal will also allow employees to view their benefits summary, change their home address and some banking information, and update their emergency contact information. 

This fall, Queen’s will introduce MyHR, a new online portal where employees can access and edit some of their Human Resources-related information. The portal will be introduced as part of the upgrade to the HR PeopleSoft system.

“Employees are generally accustomed to going online to do their banking, manage their professional memberships, and make purchases,” says Al Orth, Associate Vice-Principal (Human Resources). “We are pleased to offer employees the same level of online access to their Queen’s information as they enjoy in other areas of their lives.”

The MyHR portal allows employees to go online to:

  • View and print pay advice slips (pay stubs) and T4 forms
  • View their benefits summary
  • Change their home address and some of their banking information
  • Update emergency contact information.

These services will be accessible through any computer at work or at home. Employees will log in to the secure and private MyHR portal using their NetID and password. All employees will be pre-enrolled automatically for these self-service options when the system launches in October 2015. However, employees will have the opportunity to opt out of the self-service functionality.

While the MyHR portal is designed to be intuitive and easy to use, employees will have access to training to help them become familiar with the new system. HR is currently planning to provide accessible, on-campus computer kiosks with printers for employees who do not work at a computer as part of their job.

“The MyHR portal will also help the university lessen its environmental footprint and realize cost savings as we significantly reduce the number of pay advice slips that we print and mail,” Mr. Orth adds.

This upgrade and enhanced functionality follows last year’s successful upgrade to the PeopleSoft financial system. Employees who use HR PeopleSoft as part of their job duties, such as timekeepers, will receive additional training on the upgrade closer to the launch date.

Email psupgrade9.2@queensu.ca if you have any questions about MyHR and the upgrade.

Visit the MyHR website for more information.

Q Camps exploring creative side

As chalkboards are wiped clean and the final school bell signals the start of summer break, parents’ summer homework is just beginning. Finding a way to keep kids happy, busy and cared for can be a difficult assignment, but thankfully Q Camps have them covered.

[Q Camps]
There are 43 camps available that keep children active and learning this summer. (University Communications)

Q Camps, summer day camps that are held on campus here at Queen’s, are offering their widest variety of selections yet, and this year have 43 camps open for enrolment. Along with their usual slate of athletic and sport-specific camps for kids looking to sharpen their skills, they’ve also introduced a number of artistic and creative camps.

By partnering with groups such as the Kingston School of Music and the Queen’s Drama Department, Q Camps are offering camps about playing guitar, doing dramatic improv and writing creatively, to name just a few. 

“We’ve pushed for big growth this year and introduced many new camps that we think will appeal to a wide range of Kingston kids,” says Andras Switzer (Kin’12), Q Camp Supervisor. “It’s all quality programming that parents will like and the kids will enjoy. All of our camps have a physical literacy component as well because we want to keep them active and help promote the skills needed for healthy development.”

One of their most popular new offerings is Super Hero Training camp for kids aged 4-6, that will have theme days, costume dress ups and give the kids a chance to make their own comic strip to take home. No surprise, Mr. Switzer says that particular camp is filling up quickly. 

Along with camps that appeal to kids, Q Camps also have a number of features that camp easier for parents and guardians. An early drop-off and late pick-up program helps parents work around their personal schedule and Q Camps also have discounts available. Queen’s staff and those who have a membership at the ARC are entitled to a discount, and those who have both are eligible for even bigger savings.

“Camps are the best way to make sure your kid is having fun during the summer while also doing some structured learning. On top of that, it’s child care, fits right into your work day and you don’t have to go too far out of your way to get there,” says Mr. Switzer.

The full listing of camp offerings can be found at gogaelsgo.com

ESCO project on to next phase

Engineering teams from Honeywell, Queen’s energy services partner, are back on campus to conduct the next stage of energy assessments of campus buildings, as part of Queen’s Energy Matters program.

Beamish-Munro Hall

Honeywell personnel did initial assessments of Queen’s buildings in 2014, and are working with Physical Plant Services (PPS) to visit most buildings on campus to inspect mechanical, electrical and other systems. They will wear identification badges and no disruption to building activities is expected.

“With the first stage of the energy audit complete, Honeywell is gathering some additional information to help inform the university’s decisions around possible energy savings opportunities,” says Aaron Ball, Sustainability Manager at Queen’s. “The project will support the university’s commitment to both environmental and financial sustainability, by identifying potential projects that could result in reductions in energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions.”

Once the final energy audit is complete, Honeywell will provide a report to the university outlining potential energy savings improvements. Queen’s will then have the option to proceed with the second phase of the project which would see it select the improvement projects that have the greatest net benefit and finance those projects through the annual energy savings they generate. Moving forward with the second stage will be subject to further university approval.

Site visits by Honeywell staff are expected to continue into July. More information about the Energy Matters project is available here.

Flags lowered for retired staff member

Flags on Queen’s campus are currently lowered for retired staff member Lorraine Helsby. She passed away on Wednesday, June 17.

Ms. Helsby retired from her position as an interlibrary loans/circulation technician in Stauffer Library on June 1, 2011.

The family will receive friends at the Robert J. Reid and Songs Funeral Home (309 Johnson St.) on Tuesday, June 23 from 5-8 pm. The funeral service in celebration of her life will be held in the Chapel on the Corner on Wednesday, June 25 at 1 pm. Memorial donations for those wishing may be made to Princess Street United Church. 

FIT TIPS: Is your metabolism aging?

With the aim of helping faculty, staff and students "Get Your 150" (minutes of recommended exercise a week) to improve health and wellness, the Gazette and Athletics and Recreation will be offering Fit Tips each week.

Aging happens to everyone, and it’s usually accompanied by a decreased metabolism.  Your metabolism determines the amount of calories you can eat all day and still maintain your weight. You can try these easy strategies to fight back if you think there is the possibility of changes to your metabolism.

Strength Training: Adding muscle mass allows you to burn more calories.

Increase Your Intensity: Exercising at higher intensities allows you to reap the benefits of burning calories post workout.

Eat Protein: High-quality protein sources supply amino acids to your muscles post-exercise so that they can repair and grow.

Drink Water: Water is important because all of the chemical reactions in your body require water—including the ones that burn calories.

Don’t starve yourself to lose weight: If you eat a significantly low amount of calories, you’ll lose weight rapidly but much of it will be from water and muscle loss.


People of Queen’s: An electrifying career choice

[POQ Janet Pollard]
Janet Pollard, an electrical engineer at Queen’s, is also a graduate of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science. Her job includes both planning and maintaining the university’s electrical infrastructure. (University Communications)

There’s more to Janet Pollard’s job than just keeping the lights on.

As one of Queen’s electrical engineers, she has a hand in nearly all of Queen’s electrical infrastructure, from planning the power sourcing of a new building to the maintenance of emergency generators. Her role requires both an eye for detail and a sense of the big picture.

“When we develop or review electrical specifications and drawings, it can be for a variety of things,” Ms. Pollard says. “It could be a small office renovation or it could be the construction of a whole new building. Queen’s is almost like a small town, so there’s always a lot to keep in mind and a lot to do.”

Ms. Pollard came to her role in January 2006 following seven years spent in the automotive sector. After her time in an auto glass production plant, she felt ready for a change.

“Supporting a manufacturing plant can be much more demanding on your personal life. Nights, weekends, and holidays are not always your own as you are often called in to resolve issues that are halting production. Although working at Queen’s also has its share of demands, there is more opportunity for a work-life balance. Of course, when the chips are down and power is off in a building, we’re here around the clock to fix it.”

Coming to Queen’s was something of a homecoming for Ms. Pollard, who graduated from the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science in 1998, but it didn’t take long before she was in the thick of things.

“It’s been busy from pretty much day one,” she says. “There have been major construction projects since I got here: the Queen’s Centre, the Goodes Hall Extension, new Medical Building and the Isabel Bader Centre. That said, this summer is shaping up to be our busiest yet.” 

Campus is receiving a wide range of much-needed electrical upgrades over the coming months, and Ms. Pollard is helping to oversee them. There’s work being done to prepare for the revitalization of Richardson Stadium, electrical equipment retrofits and fire alarm upgrades to some of campus’ older buildings and the replacement of the main electrical switchboard for the Queen’s Central Power Plant, to name just a few.

“When we develop or review electrical specifications and drawings, it can be for a variety of things. It could be a small office renovation or it could be the construction of a whole new building. Queen’s is almost like a small town, so there’s always a lot to keep in mind and a lot to do.”

- Janet Pollard, electrical engineer

Though we use electricity constantly, we don’t often stop to think about the work or systems that keep it running, something Ms. Pollard says comes from design. Queen’s buildings are powered by “electrical feeders” that connect them to the power grid and most have redundancies, meaning power can be provided from multiple sources. Those redundancies help prevent prolonged power failures and allow isolation of feeders without building disruption.

“We can move a building onto another feeder without anyone inside being disturbed or even knowing that we’ve made any change,” she says.

Her job is mostly behind the scenes work, making everything run smoothly, and that suits Ms. Pollard just fine.

“I do what I do to try to support others in their work,” she says. “It’s nice knowing that I help make campus systems more reliable so that students, faculty and staff can perform their jobs and studies — the things they came here to do — without being disrupted.” 

Campus Master Plan wins national award

Queen’s University’s Campus Master Plan (CMP) has won a prestigious national award from the Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP).

[Queen's Campus Master Plan]
The Queen's Campus Master Plan has been awarded the 2014 Award for Excellence in Planning from the Canadian Institute of Planners.

At its annual conference later this month, the CIP will present the 2014 Award for Planning Excellence in the urban design category to Queen’s and Urban Strategies Inc., the lead planning consultants who worked on the CMP.

“Queen’s is extremely fortunate to have a remarkable campus that is both steeped in history and continually evolving,” says Daniel Woolf, Principal and Vice-Chancellor. “Urban Strategies did a remarkable job in guiding the university through the process of creating a vision for how that evolution can happen over the coming years to best meet the needs of our students, staff and faculty, while respecting the university’s heritage and its situation within the Kingston community.”

The CMP was approved by the university’s Board of Trustees in March 2014 after more than a year of consultation with stakeholders. The plan provides a vision and framework for how the university’s physical campus can evolve over the next 10-15 years, and replaces the previous master plan developed in 2002. The plan will help facilitate a vibrant campus life, while sustaining the best parts of the Queen’s experience.

“Queen’s benefited tremendously throughout the CMP process from the insight of the entire team at Urban Strategies,” says Yvonne Holland, Director of Planning and Development at Queen’s. “They brought not only a deep knowledge and experience in planning to the process, but also a commitment to listening to views and priorities of a wide range of stakeholders, both on campus and in the wider community.”

Joe Berridge is a Partner with Urban Strategies, the Toronto-based planning and urban design firm.

“It is very gratifying to be honoured with this highly competitive award. As one of Canada’s oldest universities, Queen’s has an extraordinary quality. This was a unique assignment, figuring out how that quality can best evolve as educational needs change” says Joe Berridge.  

The Award for Planning Excellence is the CIP’s highest honour for work by Canadian planners.


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