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View of the University Centre as seen from the Conservatory Gardens.

Our Staff - Student Affairs

Our staff members are passionate about helping students to unlock their potential and reach their goals, providing the guidance, resources, and programs to ensure success. Welcome to our webpage where we proudly shine a spotlight on the remarkable skills and talents of our diverse and vibrant staff members. This platform is dedicated to celebrating our staff member’s achievements, passions, and unique contributions. Each showcased staff member has a story to tell, and we hope that their stories inspire.

Learning to Bounce

Recently, two staff members Melissa Beacom and Tara Embrey in Student Accessibility Services took time away from their traditional roles as advisors, to develop a mental health program for students. Time away from their traditional roles provided an opportunity for innovation and to help student development in the areas of academic resilience and wellness.

To execute the program, the staff were successful in obtaining $50,000 from the Learning Enhancement Fund (provided by the office of Teaching and Learning) and developed a co-curricular experience that focused on improving students' ability to cope with the emotional demands of academics and maintain their mental health.

Seventy students benefited from the pilot program which was then researched to evaluate efficacy.  Research outcomes demonstrated that participants became more flexible in the face of setbacks, less avoidant and perfectionistic, more self-compassionate, and more accepting of difficult emotions. These changes culminated in an improved ability to approach schoolwork, persevere through challenges and manage mental health symptoms. 

Tara and Melissa felt that the opportunity allowed them to break away from the ordinary and they were able to offer a form of support that was preventative in nature rather than reactive. The facilitators noted that the experience invigorated their professional growth and passion for student support. The life skills that the students learned are fundamental elements of the human experience and showcase the most innovative practices in mental health (proactive skill development that helps maintain mental health during complex and challenging times). This program shows the benefits of incorporating time and financial support for employees to break away from the everyday, to use their skills and creativity to bring innovation to the student experience and student development!

Photograph of the two Learning to Bounce program developers outside smiling.

Student Affairs Staff Recognition Award

Nominations are now open for the Student Affairs Staff Recognition Award! 

The deadline for 2023-2024 nominations is Friday, April 5, 2024. 

The Marilyn Langlois Award is presented annually to a Student Affairs team member who epitomizes professionalism and goes above and beyond when supporting students, staff, faculty, and community partners.

This award is named in honour of Marilyn Langlois, who from 1989-2004 served as the Executive Assistant to the Vice-Provost (Student Affairs). In this role, Marilyn provided exemplary support and guidance to students, staff, faculty, and to the community.

Submissions for this award must include a letter of nomination and 3 supporting letters, demonstrating how the nominee excels in each of the areas stated within the Award Criteria. 

Please make sure to use the Nomination Form and Submission Checklist provided below:

Award Criteria, Nomination Form and Submission Checklist - MSWord Doc.

Forward any questions and/or submissions c/o: The Office of the Vice-Provost (Student Affairs) by emailing:

Voice for Campus Inclusivity, Diversity Wins the 2022-2023 U of G Staff Recognition Award

The Office of the Vice-Provost (Student Affairs) is pleased to announce that Alexis Charles, Coordinator of Cultural Diversity Programs in the Department of Student Experience has been named as the 2022-2023 Marilyn Langlois Student Affairs Staff Recognition Award recipient.

Alexis Charles, coordinator of cultural diversity programs in Student Experience and an advocate for community and inclusion, has won this year’s Marilyn Langlois Student Affairs Staff Recognition Award.

Presented annually by the Office of the Vice-Provost (Student Affairs), the award recognizes individuals for professionalism and excellence in their support of students, staff, faculty and community partners.

Nominators said Charles goes beyond expectations in her work to create an inclusive and diverse community for Black and racialized students, faculty and staff. She is the lead staff member for Black History Month programming on campus and is co-founder and co-chair of the Black Faculty and Staff Network.

She has created robust program offerings for Black and racialized students and collaborated with many campus partners on cultural and educational programming for the community.

Congratulating Charles for her award, Irene Thompson, Interim Vice-Provost (Student Affairs), said, “Alexis’s unwavering dedication to professionalism and exceptional support for students, staff, faculty and community partners is truly remarkable. She embodies the spirit of excellence and most certainly goes above and beyond to make a difference. I am grateful for her outstanding contributions to our community, and I am hopeful that her exceptional work will continue to inspire us all.”

Alexis exemplifies what it means to wholeheartedly and positively contribute to the experiences of students, particularly Black and racialized student experiences, and to work collaboratively with many campus partners and the broader Guelph community to contribute to an inclusive and diverse environment.

2023: Alexis Charles, Student Experience

2022: Sarah Mau, Athletics

2021: Heidelein Friesen, Student Wellness Services

2020: Jean Thompson, Student Wellness Services

2019: Kathryn Hofer, Student Experience

2018: Jessica Nayda, Student Housing Services

2017: Daniel Poulin, Student Life

2016: Forrest Caldwell, Student Wellness Services

2015: Jill Ferguson, Co-operative Education & Career Services

2014: Michelle Pino, Athletics

2013: Julie West, Student Housing Services

2012: Marinette Fargo, Counselling & Disabilities Services

2011: Laurie Schnarr, Student Life

2010: Bruno Mancini, Counselling & Disabilities Services

2009: Pat Richards, Athletics

2008: Deborah Kemp, Student Life

2007: Susan Nuttley, Co-operative Education & Career Services

2006: Barbara Funk, Student Affairs

2005: Betty Forestell, Athletics

2004: Jane Alexander, Student Housing Services