President's Awards for Exemplary Staff Service

Exemplary Staff Service Award Recipients 2015

Back row: Dave Scott Thomas, Robert Cook, Nick Coghlin, President Franco Vaccarino, Ines Jimenez, Shirley Tucker, Dave Bilyea, Curtis Holmes
Front row: Sally MacLachlan, Jenn Bock, Stephanie Roberts, Jennifer Nowell, Meghan Cigagna, Linda Caston, Lucy Siydock, Maria Medeiros
Missing from photo: Cynthia Stoate, Emily Forde, & Andrea Kacer

Innovative Leadership Award

Jenn Bock – Animal and Poultry Science

As the Director of Wild Ontario, Jenn Bock oversees a volunteer-run education and conservation program which uses live birds of prey to educate audiences about nature and conservation in Ontario. Jenn is the heart and soul of Wild Ontario. When she first joined the program, it was struggling to avoid a shutdown.  Through her leadership, innovation and inspiring dedication, Wild Ontario has become one of the foremost programs in the province which educates the public about raptors. In the one-semester training program, Jenn empowers the new student-volunteers who learn to care for the birds, many of which have special health needs.  Jenn spends countless hours getting to know the students volunteering their time to the program. Volunteers flourish under Jenn’s guidance, and they attribute their success to her mentorship and her ability to build meaningful relationships with all those who volunteer at Wild Ontario. She is the epitome of a committed leader who delights in fostering leadership skills in others.

Service Excellence Recognition Award

Ray Hutchison – Physical Resources

Ray Hutchison is a wonderful example of customer service excellence – readily available, good humoured and intent on ensuring the job is done in a timely manner. This was particularly evident last winter when Mills Hall experienced a leak in its roof at 3:00 a.m. Although this repair is not part of his normal job function, Ray was concerned about the first year student whose living space was affected by the leak.  He worked quickly to coordinate repairs to ensure that the student’s room was returned to being his home-away-from-home. Ray’s work is consistently completed with superior skill and attention to customer service; he raises the standard for those who work with him and he motivates them to provide that same level of service. Ray Hutchison, through his devotion to providing excellent service because he cares about people, embodies the spirit of community which characterizes the University of Guelph.

Sally MacLachlan – Population Medicine

As a member of the Department of Population Medicine, Sally MacLachlan works as an Administrative Assistant and is the Interim Manager of Graduate Program Services at the Ontario Veterinary College. Sally continually demonstrates enthusiasm, dedication and leadership in her roles, constantly doing little extras which ensure that the job is not merely “well-done” but done to the highest level. She is described as the heart and soul of the department who works tirelessly to anticipate needs and mitigate problematic situations before they have any negative impact on the department. The role of Interim Manager is in addition to her regular duties, but she has taken on the challenge with an exuberance and in the process, implementing a myriad of improvements to OVC’s Graduate Service Model. Sally is always positive.  Her attitude and work ethic serves as a reminder to each of us of how fortunate we are to be members of this fantastic community.

Hidden Hero Award

Dave Bilyea – Horticultural Weeds Ridgetown Campus

Dave Bilyea is a research associate at the Ridgetown Campus of the University of Guelph. Dave specializes in weeds, a topic about which he is passionate.  His expertise in weeds is recognized widely, and as a result is often invited to give presentations to local grower’s associations such as the Southwest Agricultural Conference.  Each year, Dave prepares a weed garden which has over seventy varieties.  This garden is an educational tool, not only for students in programs on campus but for the community.  Regularly, local groups, such as those from 4-H, come to visit the weed garden through which they are guided by Dave who enthusiasm and good-humor are infectious.
Dave enjoys people.  He is a kind man who helps when he sees that there is need for an extra body, such as during harvest.  He does those little extras because he is a generous man, a true hidden hero.

Spirit Award

Dave Scott Thomas – Athletics, Cross-country and Track & Field

Dave Scott-Thomas is an internationally renowned coach who has led our runners to victory over the past eighteen years.  Part of Dave’s success as a coach is that he trains not only the athlete but the student, emphasizing the importance of being a “whole person.”  He sets realistic goals and expectations for the runners, but he dares them to dream of being the best athletes and students they can be. Dave is also a community builder.  He provides a home for athletes and works continuously to improve their lives outside of sport – to develop personally and evolve into community conscious, responsible citizens. In espousing these values, Dave Scott-Thomas truly embodies the “spirit” of the University of Guelph.

Community Service Award

Linda Caston – Animal and Poultry Science

For nearly thirty years, Linda Caston has been a research associate in Animal and Poultry Science where she has coordinated the department’s fund-raising for the United Way.  Thanks to Linda’s tireless commitment, over the years,  Animal and Poultry Science has raised record amounts for the United Way.  Her enthusiasm is infectious and motivates others to get involved.
Off-campus, Linda is active with the Guelph Humane Society in a range of capacities, including serving on its Board of Directors.  She is also active with Community Veterinary Outreach, a program which provides care, pro-bono, to the companion animals of people with low incomes.  Her passionate dedication to these programs indicates Linda’s deep commitment to the well-being of animals and people.

Excellence in Health and Safety Award

Curtis Holmes – Student Housing Services

Curtis Holmes is Residence Desk Porter with Student Housing Services. He has a particular concern for the well-being of those living and working in residence, particularly students. He is active on Student Housing Services’ Joint Health and Safety Committee, and is proactive in enacting recommendations to ensure that the residence is safe.   
Curtis is not only concerned for the physical safety of those in residence but also for their mental well-being.  He supports staff, particularly student staff, when they deal with difficult situations.  He is active in the 1 in 5 mental health campaign, encouraging dialogue about mental health to alleviate the stigma of mental illness.   Curtis Holmes cares deeply about people, particularly the students living in residence.  As a nominator said, “Curtis strives to ensure that others are supported, safe and secure, and is an example to all of us of how to care.”

Maria Medeiros – Physical Resources

Maria Medeiros is a Lead Hand in the Housekeeping Department of Physical Resources and an elected member of the Local Joint Health and Safety Committee where she is currently co-chair. Maria has taken significant responsibility for the initiation and implementation of new health directives and the revision of programs relating to health safety. Recognizing that health communication required improvements, Maria coordinated the strategic installation of information boards in high traffic work and meeting areas, and was instrumental in setting up the Health and Safety section on the Physical Resources website. Additionally, she personally installed first aid kits, and ensured that existing ones were fully stocked. She set up an inspection program to ensure each kit is ready when needed. She has exhibited great leadership in assisting her colleagues with health and safety information, and is a highly valued and effective member of the Joint Health and Safety Committee. Maria makes this university a safer place for us all.

Exemplary Team Recognition Award

OVC Health Science Centre Veterinary Technicians: Lucy Siydock, Ines Jimenez, Emily Howe Forde, Cindy Stoate, Andrea Kacer, Rob Cook, Stephanie Roberts, Meghan Cigagna, Shirley Tucker, Nick Coghlin, Jennifer Badgerow Nowell

The veterinary technicians who support the Anesthesia service at the Ontario Veterinary College – Health Services Centre are a remarkable team providing excellent care to their patients during all phases of anesthesia, from tranquilizing in advance of a procedure to monitoring the recovery.  The team is committed to ensuring that their patients, often animals who are very ill, receive the best care.  The technicians support each other in a range of ways.  Some have worked for more than ten years in the Health Services Centre during which they have gained valuable experience which they readily share with their colleagues.   Out of a deep commitment to each other and to their patients, the technicians who are part of this team adjust the flow of their work-day to ensure that transfer of cases is seamless; when a particular case requires more support, there is a technician who steps in to provide additional support, often anticipating a need before it arises.

Archive of Past Exemplary Staff Service Award Recipients