Executive Members

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Leigh West
OAC Dean's Office
+1-519-824-4120 x52101

PSA Chair and Membership Engagment Committee Chair

As a long time Guelphite and a soon to be 2 time alumna (BA - Sociology & Marketing and CBE Exec MBA – Food and Ag Business) I am passionate about the University of Guelph, the community of Guelph and the success of the students and my fellow colleagues.  I rejoined the University in January of 2010 after 12 years in the private sector where I last held the position of Director of Sales, Marketing and Corporate Contracts for a local R&D/manufacturing SME. 
Upon returning to the University, I held the position as Contracts Officer within the Office of Research.  During this time I was nominated as an executive member of the Steel Workers Union.  I participated on the Women’s Committee, the Pension Review Committee as well as the President's Exemplary Staff Awards Selection Committee in 2012.  Recently, I am honoured to have been elected to Senate for a three year term starting September 2015 where I am a member of the Senate Research Board as well as the Honours and Awards Committee.      
In 2013, I became a member of the Ontario Agricultural Colleges Dean’s Office team in my role as Manager, Research and Graduate Operations.  This position allows me to facilitate and support both the research enterprise as well as the graduate program within the College.  In addition, I am currently spearheading a Graduate Recruitment Initiative promoting UoG Graduate programs by providing information and support to senior level undergraduate students.
Above all else, however, I am a proud Mom of two very active boys, an equally active boxer and an insane “Fug” (aka fake pug = mostly pug with a little something else we’re not sure of mixed in) who all do their part to keep me on my toes.  
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Mohamed Al-Abdul-Wahid
Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Centre
+1-519-824-4120 x58914

PSA Vice Chair & External Committee Representative Liason

Hi my name is Sameer. I joined the University of Guelph in 2016 as the manager of the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Centre, a core research facility in the Advanced Analysis Centre. If you’ve walked by the big lab in SSC near Second Cup and wondered what it is, that’s our NMR Centre! I absolutely love my job: I work with students and faculty on a daily basis to support their research and teaching in the area of NMR, and get to collaborate on research projects when time permits. 
Prior to joining the U of G, I earned my graduate degree in Chemistry and worked in a similar role at two universities.  
I’ve had the privilege and pleasure of serving on the PSA Executive since 2017. I have particularly enjoyed meeting PSA members from across the University, many of whom I would not have met through my job, and from whom I have learned new ideas and points of view.
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Christopher Hewitt
Open Learning & Educational Support
+1-519-824-4120 x52959

PSA Secretary

I have been with at the University since January of 2016 in my role as Manager, Classroom Technical Infrastructure where I interact daily with faculty, researchers and administrators across the various disciplines. My team is responsible for an AV loan counter and the technical support that is required to make teaching and learning work within the classrooms.
Outside of work, I have 3 children and I volunteer in different capacities with St. John Ambulance and Scouts Canada.
My natural passion is towards service and my natural ability to seek harmony, allows me to work hard to deliver a great balance weighing the risks and challenges appropriately. My involvement in the Local JHSC, PSA Remuneration Committee, Employment Terms and Conditions committee as well as University Convocation and Summerfest committees has allowed me to expand my area of influence outside of my immediate department and furthered my experience around the University.
For the past 4 years, I’ve had time to look at the Professional Staff Association and how it plays a significant role in the daily lives of professional staff around the University.
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Mark Torcoletti
Engineering & Physical Science - Dean's Office
+1-519-824-4120 x53640

PSA Treasurer

I started my career at the University of Guelph in 2009 as an accountant in the Controller's Office and have held a couple different financial management roles on campus. I am currently the Associate Director, Finance & Operations for the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences. This role provides me with a breadth of work in the areas of finance, human resources, and college administration. Prior to coming to the University of Guelph, I worked in accounting and finance at a large publicly-traded manufacturing company. 
I am also graduate of the University of Guelph’s Bachelor of Commerce program and a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) and Certified Management Accountant (CMA). I am very excited to continue on for another term as treasurer and look forward to continue to work with our great network of members.
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Kelly Bertrand
Director, Organizational Services, Library
+1-519-824-4120 x53359

PSA Past Chair 

I started with the University in 1997 and can honestly say it has been a pleasure to be part of this environment over the years. My first few positions were with Audit Services, then the Office of the CIO and now with the Library. I currently oversee teams that focus on administration, human resources, financial and facilities support for the Library. I have an undergraduate degree in business and obtained my accounting designation more than 25 years ago. Having taken a keen interest in financial planning, I have served on the Pension Committee of the Board of Governors and been heavily involved in the ongoing efforts to bring sustainability to our pension plans. This is my second stint on the PSA Executive and I look forward to the opportunity to advocate for the highly skilled and dedicated professional and managerial staff on campus.

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Cathy Bernardi
+1-519-824-4120 x52108

PSA Member at Large

I started at the University of Guelph in 2000, after a long career at St. Joseph’s Hospital & Home in Guelph.  I first started in Human Resources as a Service Associate and then went to the department of Pathobiology as an Administrative Assistant, where I dealt with the budget, human resources, and supervised 6 staff.  I am now in the department of Student Housing Services working with finance and human resources. In my various roles I have served on several committees.  I was the United Way Co-Ordinator for our department, I was on the judicial committee and job fact sheet evaluation committee.  I hope to assist on some of our many committees to share insight and help our Professional community.  I look forward to working with and helping our members as they serve in their roles.
In my 20+ year career with the University of Guelph, I have had experience within our post-secondary institution with budgeting, human resources and supervision. I have also served on multiple committees to help move the University forward in a progressive and inclusive manner. With my professional experience that I have acquired through my various roles at the University and the committees that I have proudly served on, I feel that I will be an asset to the Professional community at the U of G with my insight and awareness on being able to serve our members with their interests as my motivation.
Being born and raised in Guelph, the University has always been a stoic establishment within our city. I am a proud employee and am honoured to be able to serve my fellow employees with my expertise and dedication with ensuring a workplace that feels like home to all!
Kathryn Dawkins
Marketing Communications Officer, OVC
+1-519-824-4120 x53306

PSA Member at Large

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Jacqueline Hamilton
Lang School of Business and Economics
+1-519-824-4120 x52489

PSA Member at Large and Professional Development Committee Chair

I am an alumni from the University of Guelph BASc. Adult Development program, and have been working full time at Guelph  in a couple of different roles since 2013. Currently I work as the Senior Manager - Learning, Assessment and Accreditation in the Lang School of Business and Economics. I also have my Masters of Education in Student Development and Student Services in Post-secondary Education from OISE, and a background in learning and curriculum development. With the PSA, I am the Chair of the Professional Development Committee in my 2nd term as a PSA Executive member. I look forward to making meaningful contributions to the professional developmen of PSA and its members and please feel free to reach out if you every have any questions or suggestions.

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Christopher Lee
Manager, Information Technology Services, College of Arts
+1-519-824-4120 x54738

PSA Member at Large

I have been a part of the University community for 25 years, coming to Guelph from small town Ontario for my undergrad in 1995 - and never leaving!  My position at the University is the Manager of Information Technology Services in the College of Arts, working to promote and support/facilitate technology use in teaching, learning, research and administration in COA.  I have always appreciated the opportunities to participate on various University working groups and committees over the years including the Campus IT Leaders Group, the University’s United Way campaign and most recently the PSA’s Bylaw Review Committee which cemented my interest in participating on the PSA’s Executive Team.  I have been fortunate enough to experience the University of Guelph from a staff, undergraduate student (B. Comm) and graduate student (MBA; Sustainable Commerce) perspective, and I believe these experiences have helped me make positive contributions to the College of Arts and the wider University community.  I look forward to working with, and learning from, this group for at least the next couple of years.

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David Macdonald
+1-519-824-4120 x53412

PSA Member at Large

I joined the University in July 2019, having worked in Sudbury for the previous 24 years. I am a Distance Learning Program Development Specialist in the OpenEd DE team. My colleagues and I work with faculty to develop, revise, and maintain Distance Ed and Continuing Ed courses, training modules and more. As a newcomer to the PSA Executive, I look forward to meeting and learning more about the broader PSA membership and to supporting the work of representing P&M employees.

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Liana Rowlands
Lab Services, Business Operations
+1-519-823-1268 x57298

PSA Member at Large

I have been with the University since June of 2002. My current role is Technical Supervisor of Business and Network Systems for the Laboratory Services Division. I work within a team of 7 individuals that manage everything from help desk support to database administration for our Business applications. I have been a member of a number of different committees both on and off campus and am currently focused on the Health & Wellness initiative both on campus and in our department. 
I am always looking for ways to be able to contribute and support our workplace community and am looking forward to be able to do so as a Member at Large on the PSA Executive team.
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Elizabeth Snyder
Research Communications
+1-519-824-4120 x53781

PSA Member at Large and Marketing & Communications Committee Chair

You probably know me as Liz. I am an alumni of the University and have worked on campus in various positions for 16 years and have been a member of the PSA for 9 years. My current role is Manager of Research Communications in the Office of the VP, Research. In this role I am fortunate to work with faculty and staff across campus and I think these connections will help me serve our membership and P&M staff as a Member at Large on the PSA Executive Committee. I look forward to being part of a team that supports and represents P&M employees at the University of Guelph.

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Kimberley Thorne
College of Arts
+1-519-824-4120 x52455

Member at Large and Problem Resolution Committee Chair

I have been an employee of the University of Guelph since 2009 and a Member at Large on the PSA Executive since 2018. I am currently the Manager, Facilities and Operations in the College of Arts, having also held roles in both academic and research administration. I have undergraduate and graduate experience at the University of Guelph, with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and a Masters of Business Administration.

As Chair of the Problem Resolution Committee and a member of the PSA Employee Terms and Conditions Committee, I encourage any PSA members experiencing workplace issues or concerns to reach out to the PSA office for additional information on how the PSA can assist you. I look forward to continuing to work with the PSA and its members on initiatives that positively impact all P&M staff.