2020 Outstanding Staff Recognition Awards Presented

Posted on Tuesday, September 29th, 2020

The annual OAC Outstanding Staff Recognition Awards were presented at the virtual "OAC Welcome Back Event" held on September 25, 2020. These staff awards recognize excellent work performance, willingness to help others, contributions toward the betterment of workplace operations, and efforts in making OAC a better place to work overall. The recipients of these awards are nominated by their colleagues. This year multiple staff were recipients for each award category. Congratulations to all recipients!


Staff recipients with under 10 years of service

Leigh West; Manager, Graduate Recruitment and Programs, OAC Dean’s Office.
Leigh is described as a strategic thinker, outgoing, upbeat, and positive, who delights in hearing and celebrating the successes of others in OAC. One of Leigh’s nominators had this to say:

“Leigh always acts in the best interests of students; she is supportive of faculty by providing information in a timely way; and is skilled at making connections that can lead to an outcome that's greater than its parts.”

Sean Jordan; Research Technician, School of Environmental Sciences.
Sean is known as a dedicated technician, who goes above and beyond everyday. He is described as being positive, inspiring, and an all-around nice person.  One of Sean’s nominators had this to say:

“Sean makes OAC a better place to work, without him we would not have the same success in our research endeavours. He is an excellent ambassador for the research conducted by SES and OAC, helping at many outreach events and through collaborations with industry and other Universities.”


Staff recipients with over 10 years of service

Janine Bedford; Administrative Services Clerk, Ridgetown Campus.
Janine is known by her colleagues as a consistent go-to person for guidance and knowledge. She is an unsung hero of the Ridgetown Campus. One of Janine's nominators had this to say:

“Janine is always reliable and with energy, confidence and humour she is a vital part of the Ridgetown Campus community every single day.”

Wendy McGratten; Graduate Program Assistant, Department of Animal Biosciences.
Wendy is well known for her passion and dedication to the department. She is a wealth of information and an excellent mentor and support for graduate students and faculty. One of Wendy's nominators had this to say:

“Even during this period of daily COVID uncertainty, Wendy has shown extreme resilience, remains positive about her job and life, and is oasis for faculty and students.”

Kris McNaughton; Research Associate, Ridgetown Campus.
Kris is known for her dedication to her role as a weed scientist as well as being a community volunteer. She is a passionate and committed ambassador for the University of Guelph. One of Kris's nominators had this to say:

“Kris constantly strives to interact with and make a positive difference in the community where she lives and works. Whether it is helping a graduate student with statistical analysis or organizing staff events to raise funds for the United Way, Kris is there to help and guide others to succeed.”

Debbie Harkies; Secretary to the Chair, Department of Food Agricultural and Resource Economics.
Debbie is known for being friendly and service-oriented. No matter how busy she is, she is willing to address a question or problem from staff, faculty and graduate students. She makes everyone feel welcome and important, and her willingness to help others is evidenced by the respect that she receives from all who know her. One of Debbie's nominators has this to say:

“In all aspects of her work, Debbie strives for excellence. Her excellence ranges from her unrivalled ability to proof papers and tests, support day to day activities with a smile, and provide maturity of judgement and institutional memory when needed. Her willingness to help others and go beyond the specifics of any task, to enhance quality, is appreciated by all.”

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