Exemplary Staff Honoured at Community Breakfast

September 08, 2009 - Campus Bulletin

Nine outstanding U of G employees received 2009 President's Awards for Exemplary Staff Service at today's community breakfast. More than 1,000 people attended the annual event.

President Alastair Summerlee presented the awards, which recognize staff members who have had a lasting impression on their colleagues by consistently demonstrating a commitment to excellence and exceeding the expectations of their normal job responsibilities.

In addition, the recipients of three awards presented by the U of G Alumni Association, United Steelworkers Local 4120 and the Council on Undergraduate Academic Advising were also recognized. The awards honour community volunteerism and dedication to the betterment of the University.

President’s award winners are:

Jennifer Beehler Spirit Award, U of G Alumni Association Employee Volunteer Award
During the 21 years she has been on campus, Beehler has developed a reputation as someone who always has time for others. The administrative assistant to the chair of the Department of Clinical Studies has been a fixture in the University’s United Way campaign. Last year, she co-chaired the campaign and this year she’s stepped up again. Off campus, Beehler is known for representing U of G in a positive light through her numerous community involvements. Her commitment earned her double honours, as she received both a president’s award and recognition from the alumni association.

Warren Bignell — Hidden Hero Recognition Award
Bignell, a technician in the Department of Biomedical Sciences, is recognized for providing exceptional support and his commitment to research for the past 25 years. He has been listed as a junior author on several publications for his research involvement, and has helped produce and edit several teaching videos. His nominators say when faced with a challenge, he works through it using humour and determination.

Godfrey Chu — Community Service Award
Chu, a research technician in the Department of Plant Agriculture, aims to make the transition to a new country easier for immigrants. He lends support to Cantonese- and Mandarin-speaking people who are starting new lives in Canada by helping them access legal support, medical services, educational opportunities and family services. He also serves as a court translator and assists police by offering translation services.

Javaid Iqbal — Innovative Leadership Recognition Award
With an eye to helping new researchers better manage the business side of running their labs, Iqbal, a research associate in the Department of Plant Agriculture, launched a research lab boot camp. He’s also credited with designing software for a leaf gas exchange that allows researchers to cut their work time in half and creating an automated whole-plant photosynthesis and transpiration system so data can be recorded more efficiently.

Allison Marsh — Service Excellence Award
Marsh is known as the “backbone” of food preparation and service in the cafeteria located in the Ontario Veterinary College Lifetime Learning Centre. She is recognized for providing efficient and cheerful service, as well as high-quality and diverse food options to more than 1,000 customers each day. Her nominators note that she even makes provisions for the personal preferences and cultural diversity of many of her customers.

Sarah McDougall — Service Excellence Award
McDougall is the client services co-ordinator for the Couple and Family Therapy Centre, where she works with clients, graduate students, faculty and staff and conducts telephone intake interviews with new clients. Her nominators say she provides an understanding ear and has the ability to make people feel comfortable discussing their circumstances. They also note her sense of humour, willingness to provide exceptional service and calming nature.

Patti Lago, Kim Mitz and Raj Patara — Exemplary Team Recognition Award
Returning to school as an adult learner can be daunting for some, but this team is known for helping ease the transition for MA (Leadership) and MBA students. They provide service to more than 150 students, including executives from various sectors, for the College of Management and Economics. They’re in charge of marketing, co-ordinating and delivering programs in a thoughtful and professional manner. Their nominators say their service surpasses expectations.

Other award recipients are:

Sean Fox — Susanne Sprowl Community Service Award
Fox, the assistant manager of the Arboretum and an Arboretum horticulturist, received the award named for the late Susanne Sprowl. Presented by United Steelworkers Local 4120, it recognizes significant contributions to the betterment of the University and the external community through community spirit and volunteer work.

Peter Conlon — Excellence in Undergraduate Academic Advising Medallion
Conlon, the associate dean of students in the Ontario Veterinary College and a professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences, was honoured for his outstanding contributions to undergraduate academic advising at U of G.

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