2009 President's Exemplary Staff Award Winners
Service Excellence Award
Sarah McDougall - Client services co-ordinator, Couple and Family Therapy Centre
Sarah McDougall is the first person people connect with when seeking support from the Couple and Family Therapy Centre. As the centre's client services co-ordinator, she works with clients, graduate students, faculty and staff in a professional and friendly way. Her nominators appreciate her sense of humour, her willingness to provide exceptional service to everyone she encounters and her calming nature. "She has a way of conveying the kind of care, concern, warmth, empathy and non-judgement that makes people really want to open up," wrote one supporter. "Sarah is able to reassure everyone who calls that their concerns are important, no matter what kind of troubles they're facing."
Exemplary Team Recognition Award
Patti Lago, Raj Patara and Kim Mitz - CME executive programs team
Returning to school as an adult learner can be daunting for some, but this team in the executive programs office in the College of Management and Economics, help ease this transition for MA (Leadership) and MBA students. They provide service to more than 150 students, including executives from various sectors. Because of the demands of balancing their studies with work and family responsibilities, students in the executive degree programs often have a higher expectation of the service they receive, and Patti, Raj and Kim consistently surpass all expectations.
Innovative Leadership Recognition Award
Javaid Iqbal - Research associate, Department of Plant Agriculture
With an eye to helping new researchers better manage the business side of running their labs, Javaid Iqbal, a lab technician in the Department of Plant Agriculture, launched a research lab boot camp in 2008, drawing 120 researchers from across the country. Because of the strong support and response from those in attendance, a second instalment of the boot camp was held in summer 2009 and Javaid's "visionary" thinking doesn't end there. He is also credited with designing software for a leaf gas exchange that allows researchers in the Department of Plant Agriculture to sample four plants per minute, double the volume of the previous system and developed an automated whole-plant photosynthesis and transpiration system for the lab so data can be recorded more efficiently. On top of all this he has also been an active volunteer with College Royal, departmental social committees and the United Way fundraising campaign.
Hidden Hero Recognition Award
Warren Bignell - Technician, Department of Biomedical Sciences
Warren Bignell, a technician in the Department of Biomedical Sciences, provides exceptional support to the faculty he works with. His nominators say his problem-solving skills never cease to amaze them.For the past 25 years, Warren's commitment to research has been inspiring. Whether working with animals, running statistical data or driving two hours to assist a student working on a project, he has been the go-to person for many. When challenged with an obstacle, he works through it with humour and determination. He has also been listed as a junior author on several publications for his involvement with research. Warren has acquired many technical skills over the years and is now the department's audiovisual resource person. He has also helped to produce and edit several videos that are used for teaching.
Jennifer Beehler - Secretary to the chair of the Department of Clinical Studies
If a song were written about Jennifer Beehler's commitment to the University of Guelph, it might be called Smells of U of G Spirit. Perhaps Jennifer, a talented and witty singer and songwriter, would pen and perform it herself. Jennifer has worked on campus for 21 years and has developed a reputation as someone who always has time for others and gives freely of her time and energy. She has been a fixture in the University's United Way campaign throughout her time on campus and initiated pancake breakfasts, chili lunches and other fundraising initiatives. Last year, she co-chaired the University's United Way campaign, and this year she's stepped up as campaign chair. Off campus, Jennifer is involved in Hamilton's "Out of the Cold" fundraiser, which provides funding to heat a church shelter and she has also been involved with homeless youth in Guelph by cooking meals at Norfolk United Church for residents of Wyndham House. Jennifer personifies the University of Guelph spirit.
Community Service Award
Godfrey Chu - Research technician in the Department of Plant Agriculture
Coming to a new country can be a time of uncertainty for many immigrants. Thanks to Godfrey Chu, a research technician in the Department of Plant Agriculture, this transition is made a little easier because of his willingness to share his knowledge of Canada with others.Godfrey specifically 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. In addition, he helps international students adjust to life in Canada and always offers his expertise to them when they need it.