Staff recognized for ‘respect, integrity and caring’
The fourth annual Award of Excellence generated a huge increase in nominations for Western’s highest recognition for staff members. The following staff members have been acknowledged as embodying Western’s values of respect, integrity and caring.
MARIE GRAHAM Hospitality Services
Fearless and funny, her smiles and laughter can light up a room. No matter who you ask, there are nothing but good things to say about Marie Graham.
A food service assistant with Hospitality Services (Perth Hall) for more than 25 years, Graham’s daily involvement with students has transformed her into their “mother away from home”. She becomes so close with the students that she instinctively knows when they are stressed or worried and has been known to make special meals when a student is not feeling well.
“Marie is their mom away from their mom,” says Hospitality Services’ Lesley Ann Cook. “They all feel good, safe and loved with her looking after them – and look after them, she does.”
“The thing about Marie is she is here because of the students. She makes a difference in their worlds and I believe helps them get through their first year of university,” adds Cook. “It is because of people like Marie that these kids grow up to be confident adults and achieve their goals and dreams.”
Hospitality Services’ Marsha McCutcheon agrees and says, in many ways, ‘lucky’ is the one word to describe how all those around her feel.
Her commitment the university, students and our team is second to none,” says McCutcheon. “We are very truly lucky to have a person like this on our team. The students are lucky as they always have her looking out for them and her team is lucky because she never lets them down.”
Fellow employee Chris Cox says Graham is “the voice of reason” for students, staff and all those fortunate enough to know her.
“Marie provides leadership through example,” says Cox. “She reminds me that years from now the students may not remember everything they were taught, but they will always remember how we made them feel. And Marie makes them feel good both today and tomorrow.”
STEPHANIE HAYNE Housing/Sydenham Hall
Integrity and respect are the simplest ways to describe how Stephanie Hayne goes about her day-to-day interactions on campus. As a Residence Academic & Service Learning Coordinator, Hayne has used her initiative and solid leadership skills to further not only her role at the university, but those with whom she has dealt in her eight years at Western.
In 2002, Hayne led a small group of students during their spring break to Pennsylvania where they participated in this new concept of service-learning, helping inner-city youth. Since then the Alternative Spring Break Program has expanded to the point where there are now more than 200 Western students participating globally.
“She demonstrates genuine caring for students, Western’s philosophy, and the Housing vision,” says Assistant Director of Residences Jennifer Ashenden. “We believe the values of respect and integrity are most evident in Stephanie’s value of service.”
As a leader on the Residence Life Management Team, Hayne offers the best student experience in areas such as the Alternative Spring Break Program, Western Serves, first-year and upper-year leadership conferences, supporting the academic leadership programmers on staff, and supporting learning community leaders in residence.
Hayne, currently enrolled in the first-year of her Master’s at the University of Calgary with a focus on service-learning, recently traveled alongside Western President Paul Davenport on a trip to Rwanda to further explore opportunities for students to participate in service-learning.
“From the very first day I met her in 2003, she was talking about service-learning and how it should be integral to what we do here in residence and ideally, all over campus at Western,” says Ashenden. “In this way, Stephanie has single-handedly ensured that every student living in residence on main campus has a service-learning opportunity available to them at least once over the course to the year.”
Hayne’s skills were recently recognized in her new role as the Experiential Learning Coordinator, through the Teaching Support Centre.
Executive Assistant to the President and Provost
His work may be largely invisible to many at Western, and Dalin Jameson probably likes it that way. Not seeking personal recognition or credit in any shape or form, his greatest satisfaction lies in helping Western succeed.
Much of what we have accomplished as a university has been shaped by his ability to articulate our collective thoughts,” says Provost and Vice President (Academic) Fred Longstaffe. “This is the great gift Dalin has given to Western.”
A career spanning more than 25 years at Western, Jameson was one of the contributors in establishing ‘the best student experience in a research intensive university’ as Western’s mission.
A trusted advisor to presidents, provosts, deans and other senior administrators, Jameson also directly supporting the success of Western’s students, including his work with the Rhodes Scholarship process and Goldman-Sachs Global Leaders program.
Even though he works on the administrative side of the university, Jameson is a firm believer in connecting with students in the classroom, most recently teaching an honors course.
“For those who have worked with Dalin over the years, the common observation is that he leads by example,” says Lucyanne Davison, Coordinator, Office of the Provost. “He has a unique perspective based on both rational thought and the advantage of his wealth of experiences. His contributions and work ethic add to the quality of the work environment for everyone.”
It has been said that Jameson’s hand has been on the pen of many of Western’s critical documents, not the least of which include draft reports of at least three Stratetgic Planning Task Forces, along with work on numerous administrative committees.
“In this complex place we call Western, Dalin is the one who knows and guides us along the right paths to the correct process, and who educates us in a selfless fashion of the appropriate precedents for matters and actions of substance that we are contemplating,” says Longstaffe.
HALEY LINKLATE Technician Gross Anatomy Laboratory
By the nature of her position, Haley Linklater is a behind the scenes kind of person.
Managing and preparing specimens donated through the Body Bequeathal program at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, hers has been a positive influence on the workplace, teaching lab, and the student’s quality of education far beyond the doors of the lab.
At Western for four years, Linklater is part of a team of six anatomists and 20 graduate students. She grew quickly in her role, organizing decades of anatomical specimens, equipment and laboratory neglect, and brought a fresh face to her team.
“Her hand has affected us all positively and allowed each of us to reach higher potential in our own professional growth through her workplace altruism and dedication,” says Schulich professor Tim Wilson.
Although potentially the most macabre job on campus, Linklater has been a big part of the educational chain. Without her organization, dedication, foresight, and down-to-earth approach, all the educators and teaching assistants in the lab would be less well-equipped, and working more like individuals than as a team.
“To use a sporting analogy, Haley might be regarded as our general manager; a non-contact part of the team,” adds Wilson.
Every year, Linklater organizes a large memorial service for all the families that have donated loved ones to the program. While this is a large job, Linklater makes it a point that students prepare statements for the service, which has resulted in “marked growth, increased confidence, and blossoming maturity” for the students and genuine appreciation from the families.
“Linklater’s perseverance to understand multiple course curricula, to have bodies prepared, lab equipment ready, and the environment organized is evident everywhere she puts her hand,” says Wilson.
Her nominators describe her as part funeral director, part scientist, part counsellor and part technician – “a unique and talented person and without concern for herself, encouraging us all serve to a higher level through example.”
PERRY MASSE Physical Plant Department (Ivey)
Perry Masse is the kind of worker who is always one step ahead of everyone.
Be it helping staff members before he’s been asked, or saving up a few empty boxes for a student ready to move, Masse is proud of his custodial work at the Richard Ivey School of Business.
Mention his name to anyone at Ivey and you will elicit a universal response such as ‘willing to help, ‘top-notch’ and ‘cheerful’.
“He takes initiative and has pride in his work. He seems to relish helping others,” says Ivey staff member Amanda Gray. “He doesn’t just stick to what is in the job description. He leads by example in his work at the school.
“He is such a genuine, kind, caring and helpful individual. He is not only a nice guy, he is an extremely hard worker. He is constantly on the move keeping the building in top-notch condition.”
Masse has also been referred to as the “pillar in maintaining a seamless infrastructure” with his responsibilities at Ivey falling into that category of support services that is usually only appreciated in its absence.
It’s the little things he does that make him stand out. For example, in response to a student asking directions to the Career Centre he personally took them to the room rather than point them in the general direction, as some might have done.
“I don’t even know what Perry’s title is, nor his job description, and I believe that in itself is key to this nomination,” says Ivey staff member Kristina Bradley.
“In a world that trends toward the ‘it’s not my job’ attitude, his willing spirit is exemplified in his going out of his way to assist myself and anyone with heavy boxes, maintenance issues around the office, blinds that won’t open or spills on the floor. It is purely out of a commitment to service based not just on integrity and respect but simple human kindness.”
Research Development & Services
As faculty and staff involved in the research enterprise know well, the first point of contact for grant applications is key in ensuring a successful outcome. And that means Theresa Russelo.
As the Pre-Award Grants Facilitator, Russelo is responsible for assisting faculty in ensuring grant applications comply with regulations set by funding agencies. It is this funding help – the bulk of which is used to support student participation and training in research – where Russelo makes a significant contribution to Western.
“Theresa is a pleasure to work with. She is courteous on the phone and in person, and is always willing to answer questions and share her expertise with faculty and staff,” says Faculty of Education staff member Karen Kueneman.
“She is adept at communicating to researchers the complex rules and regulations associated with the various finding agencies and works hard to assist faculty members in navigating around potential roadblocks.”
Each fall, Research Development and Services processes approximately 500-600 grant applications and Russelo has consistently demonstrated her commitment during this period, working long days and weekends when necessary.
In addition, she has volunteered personal time to assist the major granting agencies in developing more effective application submission systems. Last year Russelo spearheaded a pilot project that used Western as a test institution for ResearchNet, a new on-line application submission system of the Canadian Institutes of Health.
“Theresa is always professional and friendly,” says FIMS Dean Tom Carmichael. “She has been known to drop everything and give her undivided attention when someone walks through her door, even amidst piles of outgoing grant applications sitting on her desk.”
Along with helping so many others, Russelo is also committed to her own personal development and growth. In addition to juggling career and family commitments, she is currently enrolled in the Canadian Institute of Management (CIM) program and is expected to complete it this year.
Faculty of Engineering
When the idea of honoring Nina Lowes was put forward, there was only one problem.
The overwhelming amount of support and testimonials for the Faculty of Engineering Academic Counselor created pages of praise and made it difficult to pack so much admiration into the space allotted.
“She pursues a standard of excellence second to none, all while going above and beyond in her job, maintaining a positive attitude to her service to students, faculty and staff alike,” says Engineering Acting Dean George Knopf. “She builds and fosters Western’s core values of integrity, respect and commitment to service. She makes Western a great place to work, learn and grow.”
Working in the Undergraduate Services Office, Lowes will often lend her advice to faculty members, associate chairs and chairs of departments to help in the decision-making process. It is a role where she excels.
“She is the embodiment of excellence in her role as academic counselor and lives the spirit that is Western,” says professor Jan Shepherd, Associate Director of Undergraduate Services (Engineering). “This kind of work takes great dedication to doing what is right”
Deemed a wealth of knowledge within the faculty, Lowes’ relationship with students is a solid bond throughout their journey for their degree.
She has had such a remarkable impact on so many students, many who still stay in contact and even return to visit.
“She is a mentor and a guide that counsels students with sincerity, honesty and always in their best interest,” says fellow academic counselor Ann Tsirgielis. “She cares about their academics, but that is her job. Above and beyond, however, she cares about who they are as human beings.”
“Her willingness to help makes visiting her a true pleasure. She goes above and beyond any reasonable expectations in her work,” says Engineering student Ryan Katchky. “Her warmth and positive attitude are contagious and she truly brightens up the halls when she passes through.”