The Western Award of Excellence represents the university’s highest level of recognition for staff members who make outstanding contributions to our campus community. Since the awards began, 63 Western staff have received the honour and more than 500 outstanding staff have been nominated. This year’s awards reception will be held Oct. 27.
“To be recognized by one’s peers is perhaps the highest compliment a person can receive,” said Amit Chakma, Western president. “The individuals who we celebrate today are friends and colleagues who have distinguished themselves for the important difference they make in the life of our institution on a daily basis. We salute them for the difference they make in so many ways across our campus community – and for the fine example they set that should inspire us to strive for excellence in all that we do.”
Manager, Communications & Publications
Deborah Coward’s commitment to service, both at work and in the community, is exemplary. She has built innovation into everyday processes and, as a result, demonstrates her ingenuity and desire to improve services. Ultimately, Coward carefully considers every item her team works on in terms of what benefit it provides to students and the university. She exhibits, and lives, Western’s core values in everything she does. Recently, Coward began a one-year secondment as Director of Administration, Student Experience.
Research and Undergraduate Project Manager
University Machine Services
Chris Vandelaar leads with an ‘honesty first’ policy that only contributes to the trusting relationships already built between him and the students with whom he works. Continually supportive and an advocate for students to learn from experience and practice, Vandelaar promotes respect through his actions. He not only fosters integrity within, and outside, the student machine shop, he is a big advocate of letting students create their own core values, in reflection of how he interacts with everyone.
Halina Krawczuk is person who exhibits an upbeat, can-do attitude each and every day. Known for reaching out to new faces and getting to know all the students, staff and faculty, Krawczuk transferred from Medway-Sydemham Hall to Ontario Hall this fall, leaving all those in Med-Syd to frequently ask how she’s doing. As a cancer survivor, Krawczuk is a great role model for all and her positive attitude is contagious.
Landscape Services and Recycling Manager
Serving Western for more than 30 years, Jim Galbraith’s passion for the university isn’t waning – and never will. He remains focused and driven to care for the campus and the community he supports. His presentation of Western as a world-class institution has resulted in high praise and recognition from organizations and publications including Maclean’s, The Globe and Mail, Princeton Review and Communities in Bloom. He fosters innovative thinking and passion in his job and continues to lead, as always, by example.
Assistant Director (Residence Engagement)
Housing and Ancillary Services
Throughout his 11-year career at Western, Chris Alleyne has worked for Housing, while at the same time regularly supporting the campus and London community. He has always been an outstanding ambassador for Western. With the recent increase of international students living in residence, Alleyne led many initiatives to ensure the university is providing these students with the best customer service and supporting their learning and personal growth. It is not uncommon for him to step up and go beyond his daily role. Often supporting other departmental priorities, Alleyne has managed to develop relationships with staff and students.
To say that Karen Assatourians goes beyond his normal role expectations in Earth Sciences would be an understatement. As manager of the Engineering Seismology Laboratory, Assatourians is indispensable. Put simply, Western’s Engineering Seismology Lab would have great difficulty operating without him. He is innovative, resourceful and exceptional at solving problems. He is a natural leader and he is the lab go-to person. Assatourians motivates others with friendliness, and acts as coach, teacher, friend and mentor.
Project Manager, Ontario Ginseng Innovation and Research Consortium
Physiology and Pharmacology
Wendy Ambrose-Hope has contributed both directly and indirectly to providing an outstanding Western experience for students, faculty, staff and alumni in ways too numerous to count. She has always gone above and beyond the call of duty in all of her various positions to produce superior results. From inventing the first Research On-Line Administration system to keeping large research projects on track to helping Work Study students prepare themselves for employment, Ambrose-Hope has had a huge impact on many people and organizational units at Western. She retired on Aug. 31.