2020 Celebration of Service and Excellence Awards

Each fall, Human Resources hosts the university's Celebration of Service.

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Each fall, Human Resources hosts the university's Celebration of Service. The award ceremony recognizes all faculty and staff members who have attained service milestones of 25, 30, 35, 40 and 45 years of service within the calendar year. As part of the celebration, we also recognize individuals and groups who are nominated by their peers for outstanding contributions to healthy and vibrant workplaces.

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Julie Brown, Assistant Chair, Administration - Department of Drama

Julie's colleagues nominated her because she inspires, motivates, champions, models, empowers and engages. People are naturally drawn to her because of her ability to infuse them with positivity. She influences culture through her own behaviour. She is collaborative and genuinely appreciative and supportive of her staff. She has exceptional attention to duty, going above and beyond when the situation warrants, providing innovative ideas and the energy to realize them, offering herself for service at every level of the organization. Her colleagues most appreciate her optimistic attitude that is present even on the most challenging days.

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Melanie Lewis, Associate Dean, Office of Advocacy and Wellbeing - Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry

Melanie was nominated for her humour, tenacity, caring and genuine humanity that pairs with her ability to be effective, decisive and inspiring. She demonstrates the highest standards of leadership, professionalism, caring and community. Mel empowers others to reach their greatest potential. She fosters supportive teams, demonstrates innovative and proactive leadership, and builds relationships. She values everyone in the office, heightening morale with support and praise. She has a wicked sense of humour. The collegiality of her office has been recognized and envied by others, displaying the true meaning of teamwork.

View the award criteria.View the award criteria.

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Carla Starchuk, Laboratory Coordinator - Biological Sciences

Carla's in-depth understanding of the department and student experience helped identify the core competencies the Department of Biological Sciences wants all students to obtain in their degree. She played an integral role in preparing documentation about the student experience. She always strives to be upbeat and positive, even during the chaotic periods of the semester. She communicates with students to offer support, advice and guidance. She strives to put anxious or worried students at ease, demonstrating great respect and sensitivity for undergraduate students.

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Manon Lepage, Laboratory Coordinator - Campus Saint-Jean

Manon encourages students' ideas, helps them refind objectives, and challenges them to consider their results in a global perspective. Through this approach, she helps the next generation of scientists gain confidence in themselves and allows them to develop the skills that they will need to be successful. The values of diversity, inclusivity, and equity are central to Manon's interactions with students and are at the forefront of every decision. While she expects students to work hard in their courses, she also places their mental health first.

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The Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL)

CTL makes imaginative and effective programs that encourage students to actively participate in class materials. The staff are hands-on and they make themselves available to answer questions and support. CTL has been on the frontlines of the COVID-19 response in supporting instructors and faculty as they moved to online teaching. Responding effectively during this crisis requires a sensitivity to the needs and stresses instructors are experiencing.

View the award criteria.View the award criteria.

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Linda Youell, Director, Undergraduate Services - Faculty of Nursing

Linda uses her creative ability to solve complex problems and present alternative options. She promotes enduring clinical partnerships by demonstrating the best of authentic communication and genuineness. Linda consistently has a positive disposition which makes her a pleasure to work with and serves as a role model for other employees. She responds to challenges with offers of help for faculty and students and is willing to do what she can to support, encourage, problem solve, and resolve issues. She emphasizes the importance of taking time for people to connect at work and uses her breaks to go for a walk or socialize with those around the office.

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Bob Longworth, Assistant Chair, Administration - English and Film Studies

Bob is a generous and amiable colleague who possesses considerable initiative and energy. He is hard-working and conscientious, and brings a valuable perspective to his work. Bob is a caring person who puts the physical and mental well-being of others front and center in how he approaches his job. He distinguishes himself as a proactive, diligent and insightful administrator in problem solving. He takes challenging problems as a pretext for developing creative, strategically informed and innovative solutions. He does all of this with a constant smile and wonderful sense of collegiality. Bob radiates positive energy in everything he undertakes, an attitude that is much needed in challenging times.

View the award criteria.View the award criteria.

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Carrie Malloy, Global Education Coordinator - University of Alberta International

Carrie is exceptional at welcoming people to campus. She met students at the airport, armed with volunteers and a basket of toiletries, snacks and U of A swag. She then organized a welcome BBQ for them and continued to check in with them throughout the year. It is important to Carrie that they enjoy life in Canada and thrive, and it shows. Carrie is empathetic and through her demeanor relieves the stress caused by large workloads and tight timelines. She readily provides her support and advice to colleagues. She is eager to innovate and improve our programming in an effort to make it relevant and appealing. Even during very demanding times, Carrie's sense of humour, can-do attitude and general groundedness have made her relatable and enjoyable to be around.

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Jesse Luyendyk, Course Record and Class Scheduling Specialist - Office of the Registrar

Jesse is consistently enthusiastic and really helps elevate the mood of a room. When others are struggling and need a helping hand, Jesse is there to support them. When there is a problem to be solved, Jesse is there to help find a solution. He participates in Social Committee events which seek to find ways to connect members of the together as a team and include everyone in conversations. Since Jesse started, he has improved the workplace with his innovative mind, excellent problem solving skills, and ability to think outside the norm. He has been able to streamline many processes and provide information to colleagues and co-workers.

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Valerie Masson, Team Lead, Postgrad OSE - Surgery

Valerie leads by example and rolls up her sleeves to dive in to help when needed. She has high standards for professional work performance and encourages everyone in our office to work to reach the level of performance she believes can be obtained. She has equipped her team to support one another and makes herself personally available to lean on when workloads are stressful. Valerie creates an atmosphere of trust, inclusion and camaraderie within her team. She advocates for her team and the work they do. She is able to give guidance and productive feedback in a constructive manner that creates enthusiasm in her team. She does not shy away from the difficult conversations that are a necessary part of being a successful leader.

View the award criteria.View the award criteria.

These Awards celebrate achievement in community service, research, and workplace or classroom environments by members of the University of Alberta campus community. They recognize groups or individuals who have gone above and beyond to demonstrate the principles of equity, diversity and inclusion in activities that support the University's core value for "diversity, inclusivity, and equity across and among our people, campuses, and disciplines."

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Omotayo Segun-Omosehin, Alumnus - Augustana

Tayo played a key role in the Diversity Working Group. She has helped organize many events, and facilitate discussions with others on campus to increase awareness on racial prejudices and microaggressions in Camrose and on campus. Tayo is well-known as a safe and inclusive person. She is able to listen, validate and provide support to others. She advocates for her peers about the needs of diversity education for residence and dining hall staff members. Tayo is a networker and a leader among her peers. She is inclusive and advocates others, including the LGBTQ, ethnic minorities, and International Students Community.

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Amanda Spallacci, Graduate Research Assistant - English & Film Studies

Amanda founded a Graduate Student Wellness Centre in the Department of English and Film Studies. The Centre's mission is for students to support each other "by working towards racial, gender, LGBTQ+, socioeconomic class, and dis/ability justice through workshops, peer support, and fostering community." Peer volunteers say that their training and work in the Centre has positively and dramatically transformed their U of A experience. Amanda works tirelessly, in both informal and formal ways, to support vulnerable individuals and populations. She has opened lines of communication across the department to ensure that information about community resources is widely available, bringing information and crucial questions to all available forums.

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Dia Da Costa, Professor - Faculty of Education

Dr. Da Costa has been a persistent advocate for increasing support to graduate students and advocating for issues affecting them at the department level, and the university level meetings and conversations about equity and inclusion. She encourages students to take leadership roles and provides the necessary support to student-run events. As a mentor and initiator of creating equitable spaces through RIG, Dr. Da Costa exemplifies commitment to long-term, sustainable equitable practice for U of A students, staff, and faculty. Her work towards building inclusive classrooms, scholarly and research communities shows her desire to forge equitable futures for the university.

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Karen Unger, Program Coordinator - Student Services - Career Centre

Karen is passionate about inclusion, and has built her career around it. Outside of her professional career, Karen is committed to inclusion through her work with Motion Ball and Special Olympics. In just one year at the Career Centre, Karen has great success stories of how she has empowered students with disabilities to connect with their employment goals. In addition to her own programming, Karen has also helped the Job Shadow Program identify accessibility related needs for participants. Karen provides a warm presence in the workplace and aims to ensure all colleagues feel welcome and included.

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Executive Members of the Black Graduate Students Association

The University of Alberta Black Graduate Students' Association (BGSA) is just a year old and already has had an outstanding impact in advancing human rights, equity, diversity and inclusion at our institution and beyond. Beyond the critical work of supporting its members, BSGA is also engaging the wider community in discussions about the current challenges and opportunities for navigating EDI issues and improving EDI experiences and outcomes among stakeholders in the U of A. BSGA champions important strategic programming and events that support university stakeholders' ability to appreciate challenges and optimize opportunities related to improving race-relations, power relations, diversity and equitable integration within and outside the classroom/academic settings. They offer diverse systems of communication that channel relevant information to Black graduate students, built mentoring relationships with Black undergraduate students, and fostered community among allies in the university such as the Indigenous Graduate Students' Association.

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Mojgan Daneshmand, Professor - Electrical and Computer Engineering

Mojgan enthusiastically joined the Faculty of Engineering's Gender Equity Committee upon its inception in 2016. She was passionate about maintaining the diversity already present in engineering while at the same time increasing the representation of women. Dr. Daneshmand was a source of inspiration and positive energy for the female faculty members in engineering. She was always ready with stories of her successes and her failures in order to encourage and guide her students and fellow faculty members. Through her actions, and her work, she encouraged women and international researchers to look to engineering and science for careers and to participate fully once they found a passion there. Through her willingness to share her experience as a woman in engineering, she encouraged women to choose careers in STEM fields and to believe in their own success. EDI work is exhausting and challenging on champions, but Mojgan kept us motivated and positive, which allowed us to keep finding the strength and courage to continue regardless of the setbacks. There is still much to be done, but Mojgan's positive words of encouragement and her brilliant smile will provide the fuel we need for years to come even if she is no longer with us. Tragically, Mojgan was one of the 10 campus community members senselessly taken from us in the Ukrainian Airlines tragedy in January of this year.

The Celebration of Service recognizes faculty and staff members who have service reflecting 25, 30, 35, 40 or 45 years of service within the 2020 calendar year.

45 Years Service

Thomas Etsell

40 Years Service

Artin Afacan

Brian Anderson

Linda Brittain

Charlane Gorsak

Julie Haskins

Mimi Hui

Donald Morrish

Vicki Trombley

35 Years Service

Louise Asselstine

Beverley Bochon

Dave Chan

Yashu Coe

Rita Fester

Richard Field

Sam Graziano

Bob Hayes

Jorge A Jiles

Rohana Karunamuni

Emil Kubijan

Harold Lehman

Sharon Lumley

Dino Marghella

Timothy Parker

Tara Paterok

Darek Paul

Natalie Sharpe

Dieter A Starke

Robert Stefaniuk

Rick Szostak

Christopher Was

Pamela Willoughby

Michelle Zadunayski

30 Years Service

Simaan Abourizk

Pinder Bains

Anup Basu

Richard Beason

Donna Beker

Fraser Brenneis

Valerie Capstick

Trina Cattral

Thomas Chacko

Carl Champagnie

Bruce Cockburn

Murray Diduck

Deb Dixon

Kimmie Eichelt

John Elliott

Judith Garber

Neil Haave

Peter Hamilton

Scott Hanna

Charles Holmes

Stanley Houston

Michelle Hoyle

Murray Jacobs

Grace Jamieson

Cynthia Krys

Doris Kurtz

Sandra Lacza

Angela Libutti

Margaret Lim

Walter Maksymowych

Pamela Mayne Correia

Carmen McConnell

Kat McLeod

David Moores

Don Page

Rick Perron

Tad Plesowicz

Ian Reade

Gerhard Reuter

Sally Rice

Martha Roxburgh

Todd Smith

Sandra Smith

Linda Szekely

Phil Webb

Andrzej Weber

Donna Wilson

Monty Wood

Jaynie Yang

James Young

Barbara Zak

Ming Zuo

Kenneth Irwin

25 Years Service

Kimberly Arndt

Morten Asfeldt

Ben Bablitz

Emily Ball

Luc Berthiaume

Patricia Campbell

Rhada Chari

Pak Chow

David Crawford

Sandy Doerr

Louis Francescutti

Tammy Frunchak

Gerald Haeubl

Gerald Ingolfsson

Wolfgang Jaeger

James Lyon

James McDermott

Dale McNeely

Dale Misiaszek

Allan Murray

Susan Nagy

Norma Nocente

Jason Papirny

Debbie Ponich

Iris Poon

Shawn Rankin

Claude Roussel

Ernie Rutsch

Dennis Weber

Anna Zabielski