TDIMM Fellowships

Home 9 TDIMM Fellowships
Venna Penney

Venna Penney

Dalhousie University

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CCAE and TD Insurance Meloche Monnex are thrilled to announce Venna Penney as a 2024 TD Insurance Meloche Monnex Fellowship recipient. Venna’s unparalleled ambition and drive have proven to be successful on all fronts, both academically as a student at Mount Allison University and in her early career within the Office of Advancement at Dalhousie University.

Venna’s past accolades further highlight her strength and drive. She has received the Charlie Hunter Award for exemplary student leadership from Mount Allison University, The Roland F. Surette Indigenous Leadership Award, and is a Rising Youth Grant recipient, among many of other certifications and accomplishments.

As an alumnus of Mount Allison University, she successfully completed a Bachelor of Science degree with majors in Biochemistry & Psychology and a minor in Chemistry. During her academic career at MtA, she held the position of Vice President Student Life, chaired the Shinerama Campaign and was a campus ambassador at Mount Allison’s Student Union (MASU).

Through her roles at MASU, Venna furthered programs for accessibility, mental health, harm reduction, and sexualized violence prevention.  Programs and projects were created to improve the student life experience, including several initiatives related to EDIA, such as hosting MtA’s first-ever Pride Week, the addition of a disability representative on the student council, facilitating bystander training to student leaders, and advocating for the addition of cultural competency training.

Her  natural leadership and passion for her work at Mount Allison did not go unnoticed, Carolle de Ste-Croix, Director of Alumni Engagement, Mount Allison University notes:

“Venna’s exemplary performance at Mount Allison University, coupled with her passion for community engagement and fundraising, makes her an ideal candidate for the TDIMM Fellowship in Advancement at Dalhousie University. I am confident that her skills, dedication, and innovative thinking will contribute significantly to the success of the fellowship.”

In the fall of 2022, Venna took on the role of Manager, Annual Giving Digital at Dalhousie University’s Office of Advancement. In November 2023 she moved to the role of Project Officer in Annual Giving.

As the Project Officer, Venna oversees projectDAL, Dalhousie’s peer-to-peer crowdfunding website, which included the opportunity to work as the development officer on the Woman, Life, Freedom Scholarship. This scholarship supports Iranian women and equity-deserving gender identities in accessing graduate programs at Dalhousie. Venna was instrumental in this program, which surpassed  its goal of $30,000. In addition, Venna manages the Digital Engagement Centre, where she has onboarded a new calling software program that allows for the improvement of engagement techniques and fundraising methods.

As an Indigenous woman, Venna is wholeheartedly impassioned about incorporating EDIA into her advancement work. She currently sits on the Office of Advancement’s Anti-Oppression Working Group, and co-chairs their Sexualized Violence Prevention & Response Working Group. Her work within these areas has been recognized by advancement colleagues; she and her co-chair have been selected to present at the upcoming 2024 CCAE National Conference.

“Venna embraces responsibility and proves that she can be relied on to achieve her goals and objectives. She provides a unique perspective and gives input that adds value to the team and department… As a member of the Advancement profession for 26 years, I cannot think of anyone more committed and passionate than Venna to represent the profession as a fellowship recipient. She has demonstrated her interest and commitment to developing a career in Advancement and has the determination and collaborative approach to make a difference in our profession and for Dalhousie University.”

Kimberly McDonald Winsor, Assistant Vice-President, Alumni and External Engagement (Acting) Senior Director, Annual Giving, Dalhousie University

A remarkable individual, Venna Penney solidifies the essence of what it means to be a TDIMM Fellowship recipient. For these accomplishments and more, CCAE and TD Insurance Meloche Monnex proudly welcome her to the fellowship family – where her future will undoubtedly be bright and long-standing with the sector.

Michelle Yearwood

Michelle Yearwood

Ontario Tech University

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CCAE and TD Insurance Meloche Monnex are thrilled to announce distinguished alumna of Ontario Tech University, Michelle Yearwood, as a 2024 TD Insurance Meloche Monnex Fellowship recipient. In her short time within the field, she has shown an unequivocal passion and aspiration for the field of advancement. This prestigious accomplishment acknowledges her outstanding contributions and commitment to advancing education, alumni engagement, and the empowerment of women in STEM. In all essence, she exudes the humanity that the world and the advancement sector need right now.

Michelle Yearwood’s academic journey at Ontario Tech University culminated in the successful completion of a Bachelor of Commerce in Organizational Behaviour and Human Resource Management. Her academic achievements laid the foundation for her exceptional start to a career in the field of educational advancement.

Joining the Advancement department at Ontario Tech University in 2022 as a Program Coordinator, Michelle quickly became an integral part of the university’s success story. Her contributions in the Women for STEM program showcased her dedication to fostering diversity and inclusion in the STEM fields. In addition, Michelle was able to hone her skills in program planning, volunteer management, communications, stewardship, and project management.

Through the women in STEM program, Michelle was responsible for organizing the Women for STEM Summit that attracted over 200 guests, including industry leaders and partners. Michelle’s commitment extended beyond administrative duties, contributing significantly to the empowerment and encouragement of women pursuing STEM careers.

“Michelle has been instrumental with our team’s Women for STEM program and our events and stewardship activities. She has also been engaged in our alumni relations responsibilities. She demonstrates interest in all aspects of her role and remains keen to learn more. With growing knowledge and experience, Michelle has been providing meaningful input and guidance where appropriate and contributed to the success of our team.”
Yvonne Stefanin, Director, Philanthropy, Ontario Tech University

Lisa McBride, Country Leader, Small Modular Reactors, GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy President, Women in Nuclear Canada, and Co-Chair, Women for STEM Council, Ontario Tech University, further highlights Michelle’s integral role, stating:
“Michelle’s attention to detail, organizational skills, and ability to follow through on priorities has been instrumental in ensuring the smooth execution of Council and program activities.”

Through this fellowship, Michelle will play a significant role in the university’s donor cultivation and stewardship efforts – allowing her experience and passion for donor relations and engagement to flourish even more.

“I am honored to receive the 2024 TDIMM Fellowship. Receiving this fellowship is an exciting opportunity that will enable me to continue to learn, embrace challenges and grow alongside a community dedicated to innovation and progress.”
Michelle Yearwood, 2024 TDIMM Fellowship Recipient

For all of Michelle Yearwood’s remarkable achievements, CCAE and TD Insurance Meloche Monnex proudly welcome her as a 2024 TDIMM Fellowship recipient. This fellowship recognizes her exceptional leadership, commitment, and potential to make lasting contributions to the advancement of education and philanthropy.

2023 Fellowship Recipients

Julia Carvello

Julia Carvello

Lakehead University

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In her final academic year at Lakehead University, Julia Carvello has broadened the horizons of the Lakehead University community in numerous ways. Julia’s path to advancement began by volunteering for the Lakehead University Student Alumni Association (LUSAA), her first two years as director and the past two as part of the executive. LUSAA’s mission is to bring awareness of the Alumni Association and all it has to offer grads, as well as building relationships with future grads before they leave campus. Julia embraced this wholeheartedly by helping the team host 12 virtual events in 2020 and 13 in 2021 despite the global pandemic. Her contributions helped Lakehead receive a bronze Prix d’Excellence award for Best Student/Young Alumni initiative.

“As an effective member of the executive she far exceeded my expectations. She showed her ability to lead with a quiet and gentle hand, and to encourage by doing. Her ability to see the bigger picture became apparent as she started to understand the greater role of graduates to a university.”
Jacquie Kent, External Relations Associate, Lakehead Orillia

In the fall of 2021 Julia joined the External Relations department in Orillia where she has worked to launch a successful summer trial program, updated Orillia donor pipeline database records and set up a reporting tool to pull information, helped to launch a well-attended LGBTQ2+ focussed grad event (a first at the Orillia campus), and helped to host an event for international grads of the university as a whole. She thoroughly understands the importance of building alumni relationships, in connection to their associated philanthropic relationships, and has worked to start that process with current students. 

“She understands the importance of an advancement department to a university and how her contributions have made a lasting difference to the work we do in Orillia with both our internal and external communities.”
Jacquie Kent, External Relations Associate, Lakehead Orillia

Outside of Lakehead, Julia’s passion for enriching lives extends to community volunteer experiences, such as assisting the Elpizo Counseling Center and their therapists, and as a volunteer at Habitat for Humanity.

“Julia showed, commitment, dedication, meticulosity and organizational skills. She was professional in maintaining confidentiality and privacy. She took direction well and executed her given tasks in a timely manner. Julia asked questions to clarify her given tasks and communicated confidently and assertively.
She performed her tasks in an ethical manner. She was a great addition to Elpizo and added value to our work.”
Ruth Baah-Gyebi, M.Sc., RP, Executive Director, Elpizo Consulting Services

Her fellowship year stands to encompass all the skillsets she has acquired. Julia is poised to facilitate the set up and operation of a Lakehead Indigenous Forum through which Indigenous alumni and current students would connect and collaborate. Other projects include the operationalization of a Mental Health and Wellness Platform, Lakehead’s Summer Engagement program, and assisting with the Lakehead Simcoe County Alumni Chapter in setting up and running a campaign to raise funds for Student Scholarships.

“I’m absolutely certain that – because of her current and past work – Julia can bring a student-centred lens that is crucial to each of the important initiatives listed above. She also has the capacity to be innovative, and move the needle on the work we are doing to connect to alumni and students in meaningful ways”
Linda Rodenburg, PHD, Interim Principal, Lakehead Orillia

Julia’s mark on the advancement sector and to the Lakehead community has already made an immense impact, now with receiving a fellowship, she is set for a year of triumphant accomplishment. CCAE and TD Insurance Meloche Monnex are proud to support her path and cannot wait to see where the future will take her.

“Advancement as a whole has taught me a lot about myself and how it relates to the post secondary student experience. Providing comprehensive experiences for students and graduates establishes important connections that can make all the difference, and I know I want to be a part of this great work.”
Julia Carvello, 2023 TDIMM Fellow, Lakehead University

Cheyenne Harding

Cheyenne Hardy

Mount Saint Vincent University

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Cheyenne Hardy has a strong desire to ensure all students, regardless of their distinct needs, have access to an exemplary education. Despite the fact she is only at the start of her career, Cheyenne’s list of accomplishments is long. Prior to attending Mount Saint Vincent University, she received the Red Cross Youth Humanitarian of the Year award, the Lieutenant Governor’s Education Award, and the Prince of Wales Community Leadership Award.

When searching for the right post-secondary institution, it was the ‘people factor’ that made all the difference for Cheyenne. She enjoyed meeting with the MSVU recruitment team and received an abundance of information from them, including details of the President’s Scholarship – a prestigious entrance award given to students who demonstrate academic excellence and a commitment to community. Cheyenne applied and was named a recipient of the award in 2019. Since then, she’s had an impact on so many facets of life at MSVU.

Now in her fourth and final year of her Bachelor of Child and Youth Study degree, Cheyenne is new to the world of advancement in the organizational sense, but her connection to the concept is not new. Through her volunteer, advocacy and community work and her shared values with MSVU, she has a solid footing from which to grow a career in advancement and a new desire to work with the team she considers to be crucial to the success of the university: the Advancement team.

“Cheyenne is a true gift to our university – bright, driven and already very accomplished. She has an enviable combination of academic ability and commitment.”
Denise Green, Executive Director, University Advancement, Mount Saint Vincent University

Her desire to remove barriers to education is admirably strong. Cheyenne is currently part of the MSVU Accessibility & 2SLGBTQIA+ Working Group, the Senate Committee on Undergraduate Admissions, Scholarships and Awards, and the Food Security Volunteer Coordinator for the MSVU Student Union’s Food Bank and Captain Crow’s Café (soup kitchen).

“I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Cheyenne and have engaged with her as a student, volunteer, community leader, and university employee. Cheyenne is a student leader of the highest caliber. Her dedication to her academic studies, community, and volunteer activities is second to none.”
Dr. Joël Dickinson, President and Vice-Chancellor, Mount Saint Vincent University

“Her personal engagement in philanthropic service has shown her the value of ‘giving back’ that lies at the heart of authentic philanthropy. She is highly intelligent, motivated, disciplined, and eager to contribute her talents to creating a more just and equitable society.”
Ramona Lumpkin, CM, PhD, President Emerita, Mount Saint Vincent University

Cheyenne is an advocate for people of all backgrounds and understands the needs of students and community members alike through her volunteer work with countless organizations such as the Halifax Region Youth Council; Make a Wish Foundation; IWK Health; and Special Olympics. She has even spearheaded her own initiative called the Project Comfort Program, which she founded as a way of bringing people together to make blankets for those who have suffered the loss of a loved one due to violence, or the loss of shelter and security due to homelessness or domestic abuse.

With Mount Saint Vincent University marking its 150th anniversary in 2023, Cheyenne’s fellowship year will be an integral part of the success of this celebration. With a full slate of projects surrounding the anniversary planned, Cheyenne will help move MSVU into the next era of advancement.

“I want to be a part of the continuing journey of Advancement in education long after the cap and gown have been worn and the convocation speeches have been given. I want to give back, not just to the school that has encouraged me to expand my thinking, but also to my community and its future students. I want to help afford them the same opportunities that I received no matter their situation in life.”
Cheyenne Hardy, Student, MSVU

Past Winners


Jaya Dhillon
Kwantlen Polytechnic University

Catherine Haba
Queen's University


Lana Dadson
University of Waterloo

Kierian Turner
University of Lethbridge


Zachary Robertson
Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT)

Miruna Timotin
New Brunswick Community College (NBCC)


Karissa Hartley
University of Lethbridge

Jenna Kirker
Lakehead University


Susan MacCormack
Saint Mary’s University

Christian Robillard
Carleton University


Anne-Marie Aguilar
University of Alberta

Sarah Carthy
Trent University


Kara Reynolds
St. Lawrence College

Stacey deMolitor
Mount Saint Vincent University


Jenifer Sibdhannie
University of Waterloo

Ashley Childs
Dalhousie University


Megan Hughes
University of Guelph

Pauline Waggott
University of New Brunswick - Saint John


Sarah K. Halliday
Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador

Julie Phillips
University of Calgary


Jill (Konduc) Buehler
Okanagan College

Matthew Prowse
Carleton University


Murphy Champagne
Cambrian College

Trina Prince
Nipissing University


Maude N. Béland
Université de Québec à Montréal

Michael Duncan
University of British Columbia

Erica Lind
University of Lethbridge


Meaghan Moore
Brock University

Alisha Hannam (Johnson)
Nova Scotia Agricultural College

Allison Williams
Queen’s University


Sarah Stoodley
Memorial University of Newfoundland

Sharon (McQueen) Kilbourn
Nippissing University

Lauren Wieringa
University of Guelph


Amanda MacPherson
Cape Breton University

Kelly Burke (Morris)
Lethbridge College

Julie Forest
Université de Moncton


Darcy McMeekin
Memorial University of Newfoundland

Fiona A. Munroe
University of New Brunswick

Jylian Russell
Mount Royal College


Janet N. Chong
University of British Columbia

Andrew Christie
Carleton University

Rosa Duran
George Brown College


Carly Handel (Wethersett)
British Columbia Institute of Technology

Brian Soucie
Laurentian University

Janina Crysdale (Ganton)
Wilfrid Laurier University


Alyson Saunders
Bishop's University

Whitney Lowden
Mount Royal University

Joseph Teft
Trent University


Katy Mahon
St. Francis Xavier University

Scott Courtice
Queen’s University

Caroline Tremblay
Université d’Ottawa


Lori Lynn Ojala
Laurentian University

Kathryn J. Wood
Brescia College of The University of Western

Gordon McLean
Lakehead University


Lisa Ayre
Carleton University

Donna Campbell
Assiniboine Community College

Lamis Subai
Concordia University


Julian Demkiw
University of Saskatchewan

Athena Kreiner
University of New Brunswick

Julie Marcoux
Laval University

A TD Insurance Meloche Monnex Fellowship in Advancement is tenable at any member institution: university, college, institute, polytechnic, independent school, or cégep, which is a member in good standing of CCAE and which is willing and able to assume the responsibilities of acting as a host training institution.

Up to, two Fellowships will be awarded annually, on merit, and will be allotted with due consideration given to geographic and linguistic diversity. The Fellowships may be held for a maximum of one year. Total value of each one-year Fellowship is established at $37,500. TD Insurance through CCAE will provide this amount to the selected member institution. Of this amount, $32,500 will be paid as a bursary to the Fellow. The Fellowship includes $5,000 that will be used by the institution to defray conference, travel and training costs for the Fellow. Additional funds provided to the Fellow are at the discretion of the host institution.

Candidates are required to attend two annual CCAE national conferences, at the beginning of the Fellowship year and at the end of the Fellowship year. The host institution is responsible for arranging for its Fellowship holder to attend these sessions and the conferences.

The host institution will ensure that the Fellowship holders submit two mid-term reports and one final report to CCAE.

2024 Application Deadline: December 14, 2023 

The Candidate

  • At the time of application, the candidate must be a Canadian citizen or have obtained permanent residency status in Canada.
  • At the time the Fellowship is assumed, the Candidate must have completed all requirements for a diploma or degree from an accredited Canadian university, college or cégep within the past five years, (e.g. 2018-2023), and/or that is scheduled to graduate by Spring of 2024.
  • The Candidate must not have held a full time, permanent position in institutional advancement prior to application (contract positions are acceptable).
  • The Candidate agrees to submit to CCAE one mid-term reports (November 30) and a final report at the completion of the program (May 31).
  • The Candidate agrees to attend 2 CCAE National Conferences: for the presentation of the Fellowship at the beginning of the term and for a report on the Fellowship at the end of the term.
  • The Candidate will provide all information requested on the candidate section of the application located in the TD Insurance Meloche Monnex Fellowship in Advancement Package.

Host Institution

  • The host institution agrees to host a Fellow for a twelve-month period, during which time the Fellow will rotate through at least two areas of institutional advancement (including alumni relations, development, communications, government relations, and student recruitment). These may include two specific areas within an advancement discipline – such as major gift fundraising and annual fundraising; social media programs for alumni and developing alumni events; publications creation and work with news media, etc.
  • The host institution agrees to develop and submit an application with a detailed program outline of the assignments to be covered in the 12-month period. This outline will clearly articulate what the institution can and will provide to the Fellow and what it expects from the Fellow. The application should also include a professional development plan, two letters of reference and budget.
  • The host institution agrees to appoint a senior staff member to oversee the Fellow’s training program and ensure appropriate implementation and follow-up.
  • The host institution agrees to maintain ongoing contact with the Chair of the TD Insurance Meloche Monnex Fellowships in Advancement Selection Committee and to report on the progress of the Fellow’s program. The host institution will also ensure the Fellow submits two mid-term reports (November and June) as required to CCAE.
  • The host institution agrees to provide the Fellow with relevant resource materials and a variety of professional development opportunities including attendance at two CCAE national conferences – one at the beginning and one at the end of the Fellowship term.
  • The host institution will ensure the Candidate meets all criteria, in particular with respect to eligibility to work in Canada and educational requirements.
  • The host institution will not submit an application for a Fellow if it has held a TD Insurance Fellow award in the year of, or the year immediately prior to, the current application.
    The institution will provide all information requested on the host institution section of the application located in the TD Insurance Meloche Monnex Fellowship in Advancement package.

The Selection Committee will be looking for qualities of intellect, character, aptitude and (to a lesser extent) relevant experience in candidates. The TD Insurance Meloche Monnex Fellowship in Advancement will be awarded to candidates whose personal qualifications and experience are judged to be those best suited to work in the field of educational advancement. Strong consideration will also be given to the host institution’s proposed project and training program.

Selection Committee

The Selection Committee will include at least five members: a Chair; one representative from the CCAE Board; a senior advancement professional from one of the previous host institutions; and two additional members selected from the membership of CCAE. A representative from TD will sit as an observer on this Committee.

After the initial screening of applicants, a short list of candidates may, at the discretion of the Committee, be interviewed prior to the final selection. Applicants will be advised of final selections by January 26, 2024.

Procedures after Selection

All Fellowships begin no later than June 1. Postponements or advancements may be arranged in exceptional circumstances.

Should a Fellowship candidate withdraw from the program after having been selected, no substitution of candidate will be allowed.

The Selection Committee may select another institution and candidate from the original applications.

“A strong candidate and genuine institutional need will drive the creation of a successful, meaningful Fellowship portfolio,”
Penny Blackwood, Executive Director of Development, Memorial University

In 2014, Terry Cockerline, Co-Chair of the 2015 TD Insurance Meloche Monnex Fellowship in Advancement Selection Committee (Director, Alumni Relations, University of Victoria); and Penny Blackwood (Executive Director of Development, Memorial University), supervisor of a 2013-14 TD Fellow, co-presented a CCAE Professional Service Webinar free to all CCAE member representatives: TD Insurance Meloche Monnex Fellowships in Advancement Success Tips.

Terry’s and Penny’s Top Tips for a successful TD Insurance Meloche Monnex Fellowship in Advancement:

The Candidate

  • Treat the search for a TD Insurance Meloche Monnex Fellowship in Advancement candidate like a hiring process, with a flexible job description depending on the candidates’ skills and experience.
  • Look for a highly-qualified candidate with transferable skills:
    • High energy, motivation, initiative, organization
    • High engagement, perhaps serving in a student leadership position
    • Orientation toward advancement
    • Attachment to your institution

The Fellowship Program

  • Use a team approach with your candidate to craft the Fellowship structure, playing to the candidate’s strengths and interests.
  • Don’t underestimate the amount and quality of work an enthused, well-prepared Fellow can accomplish.
  • Anticipate a substantial time commitment in preparing the Fellowship application and in supervising the Fellow; it pays off in results.
  • Set specific goals and deliverables; check in on milestones along the way.
  • Consider having a peer mentor for the Fellow.
  • Include a strong professional development plan.

The Application

  • Put care and thought into the process, as though it were a grant application.
  • Offer a succinct, persuasive cover letter and statement of support based on institutional need, candidate quality and good fit.
  • Carefully review and provide feedback on the candidate’s responses to the two essay questions.
  • Provide a balance of complementary letters of recommendation that cover different aspects of the candidate’s experience and qualifications.
  • Address how the Fellowship will change and progress your advancement operation and your school.

How to Apply

2024 applications are now closed.