The Office of the President

2012 President's Exemplary Staff Award Winners

Photo of 2012 Exemplary Staff Award Winners Back row L to R: Mary Ellen Clark, Jane Miller, Jason Moreton, Premila Sathasivam, Kimberly Best
Front row L to R: Angelina Candotti, Joanne Scheuer, AJS, Mary Fowler Absent from photo: Marie-Christine Forges, Barbara Mitterer

Award of Excellence in Health & Safety

Mary Fowler, Campus Animal Facilities

Safety always comes first for Mary Fowler.  As a manager in Campus Animal Facilities, Mary knows that the potential for safety problems is high in this area. .Her approach is to be very forthcoming with all information that relates to safety and to involve staff with any ongoing investigations.  Mary’s exceptional communication skills ensure that everyone is comfortable sharing safety concerns, and that all staff are made aware of possible risks. She is an active member of the Central Joint Health and Safety committee, has been a skilled spokesperson in the department, and encourages staff to participate in continuing education and certification courses. Mary is knowledgeable, approachable, takes concerns seriously and offers compassionate support to the staff of the Campus Animal Facilities and, indeed, the entire University.

Community Service Award

Premila Sathasivam / Human Health and Nutritional Sciences

Premila Sathasivam has a passion for helping others and has been described as the “ultimate volunteer.”  She epitomizes the spirit of this award and it is a pleasure to recognise her generous spirit and leadership on so many different initiatives.  Premila has been the unassuming driving force behind several charitable events and initiatives on campus and in the community.  She is an active volunteer with the University’s United Way campaign, has supported Tsunami Relief in Sri Lanka, participated in charity runs, contributed to Haiti Relief and Onward Willow and is a champion of the Food Bank.  Premila is an incredible supporter of new Canadians and others in need, whether she is collecting food, clothing and household items or spearheading a fundraising initiative for a friend who suffered a severe spinal cord injury.  As the lead for the University’s human body donation program, Premila’s compassion and personal commitment to the donors and their families is outstanding.  She consistently goes beyond the call of duty in everything that she does. Any community would be lucky to have someone as active and caring as Premila.

Exemplary Team Recognition Award

School of Languages and Literatures Team: Angelina Candotti, Marie-Christine Forges, Joanne Scheuer

Sometimes a team can be much like a family. That’s definitely the case for the School of Languages and Literatures, where Joanne, Marie-Christine and Angelina create a welcoming workplace for the staff, faculty and students of SoLaL (School of Languages and Literatures).  Every day they arrive with a seemingly unshakeable commitment to work as a team, doing their upmost to create a friendly, positive and respectful environment.  Their unfailing good humour and their support of faculty and sessionals, graduate and undergraduate students, and invited speakers, sets the tone for the entire School.

This team is remarkable in the way they pursue SoLaL’s goals of internationalism, inter-disciplinarity, and community service in their everyday tasks. In particular, their outstanding commitment to the school’s International Internship Program and the support they provide to new interns is recognized and appreciated by their colleagues. 

Their positive attitude and cooperative example inspire those around them – they are the glue that holds their School together.

Hidden Hero Recognition Award (tie)

Barb Mitterer / Department of History

As secretary to the chair of the history department, Barb Mitterer is a cornerstone of the entire history department.  As the longest serving member of the department, Barb has an impressive institutional memory.  She has earned respect from other units on campus, and understands the University’s procedures and structures so well that often she has worked out a solution to a looming problem long before others even become aware of it.  One colleague said: “Barb is the first person I see every day and she is always cheery.” Another added: “She can answer every question, and you can always, always count on her even if she has to take extra time or trouble.  She is a rare gem.”  Barb’s colleagues appreciate her ability to solve problems with a calm attitude that is wonderfully reassuring. Her door is always open, and she goes out of her way to make sure everyone feels welcome in the department.  For all this, she never seeks recognition or reward. She may be a hidden hero but there is no doubt from the overwhelming support from her nominators that she is appreciated.

Mary Ellen Clark / Department of Pathobiology

Mary Ellen Clark exemplifies the Hidden Hero, because although her work is “behind the scenes” she has had enormous impact on the lives and research of graduate students and research programs in Pathobiology and other departments on campus over the past 12 years. As the sole technician in a diverse laboratory, Mary Ellen has developed expertise and insights in a striking diversity of research endeavours and helps students master the necessary techniques. Mary Ellen takes on many tasks outside her job description - from handling horses and cows to talking to cats to socialize them.

Mary Ellen is always tactful and polite. She puts up with messy students, tidies up their loose research ends, and has bailed grad students and faculty out of deadline-trouble quite a few times. Her understated and reassuring approach makes the laboratory a welcoming place for new graduate and undergraduate students.  She has never tooted her own horn about her accomplishments in the lab, yet she and her trainees have an impressive list of successes. , It is this quiet yet very effective approach that makes her as a Hidden Hero.

Innovative Leadership Recognition Award

Jason Moreton, Alumni Affairs and Development (AA&D)

In recent years, Jason Moreton has helped to transform the University of Guelph Alumni Association (UGAA).  The UGAA has been shaped by his vision of a model alumni-university relationship, catalyzed by his enthusiasm and energy, and realized by his creative support.  As an ex-officio member of its board, Jason is credited with helping to forge a situation in which the UGAA leadership and staff of AA&D – and behind them the general alumni body and the larger University – are “two sides of the same coin” in their shared commitment to strengthening the University of Guelph and serving its students and alumni.

 Jason recognizes that leadership and innovation start with looking beyond what is working right now and towards what will work in the future.  He applies his passion and his extraordinary professional talent to inspire, lead and motivate his teams, staff and volunteers alike.  Jason has transformed alumni advancement today to meet the future needs of the University.

Service Excellence Recognition Award

Jane Miller, Counselling and Disability Services

Providing personal and compassionate support to the students who visit Counselling and Disability Services is a priority for Jane Miller, no matter how busy she is.  As the client coordinator, Jane greets all students as they arrive at the front desk. Some of those students are feeling overwhelmed and distressed, but Jane responds with incredible sensitivity, tact and professionalism. She guides them to the services they need and helps them to develop an action plan on the spot. They leave feeling that their world is manageable again. Students ask specifically for Jane because she makes them feel welcome and cared for, and puts them at ease.  Jane offers the same caring and respect to the families of clients, her office colleagues and the University community. 

Behind the scenes, Jane is the ultimate coordinator of the entire office. Staff have such great respect for her work that they trust her to provide good advice and helpful direction. Jane’s commitment to serving the students she helps motivates and inspires others to excel in customer service. She is absolutely the embodiment of service excellence, and we are pleased to recognize that in giving her this award.

University of Guelph Spirit Award

Kimberly Best, Department of Biomedical Sciences

Despite the steadily growing demands of her job, Kim Best, a secretary in the department of Biomedical Sciences, continues to make extraordinary contributions every year as the local departmental representative of the United Way campaign. She is one of the most active United Way volunteers in the OVC, organizing numerous departmental and college events to raise money.  Her energy and enthusiasm are infectious, and she provides an example of spirit and service while she encourages cooperation between faculty, staff and students for a good cause.  This year, despite the challenging financial climate, the United Way campaign in Biomedical Sciences greatly exceeded its target and raised a record level of support.  Notably, Kim’s commitment did not end with the fall campaign: she promptly set about organizing a series of monthly fundraising lunches in the department, to provide a “head start” on the 2012 campaign.  Her nominators state that she is proud of her role in the department, fiercely loyal to the University and takes on the responsibility of making sure that students’ needs are met. Her tireless organizational efforts contribute significantly to the University spirit and the community.

Archive of Past Exemplary Staff Service Award Recipients



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