Awards of Excellence celebrate our own

The Western Award of Excellence has welcomed six more individuals and one team to Western’s highest level of recognition for staff members. These staff members have been lauded for their outstanding contributions to the campus community.

Since the awards began in 2006, more than 80 Western staff have received the award and more than 500 outstanding staff have been nominated.

Recipients will receive their awards at the Western Award of Excellence Presentation Ceremony and reception held Oct. 24. This year’s winners include:


Debbie Acton
Western Libraries

Nominated for her knowledge and experience in academic libraries, Debbie Acton continues to make a huge impact directly on the staff of Western Libraries, and indirectly on students, faculty, staff, alumni and members of the community who depend on library resources and facilities.

Her nominator wrote: “Debbie personifies Western’s core values. She is widely respected for her fairness and integrity, exhibits respect for those with whom she deals, and has a clear, unwavering commitment to providing service excellence, directly and through the work of others across Western Libraries.”


Terry Rice
Communications and Public Affairs

Nominated for his unwavering passion to protect and enhance Western’s reputation and image around the world, Terry Rice makes it his mission to provide a quality experience through every print piece and web design project that leaves his department.

His nominator wrote: “Terry is someone who makes things happen. He will not back down from a challenge and sees projects through to the end. Terry is someone with ‘big shoulders’ and often deals with a lot of opposition in his role, but he handles it with grace and determination.”


Donna Moore
Student Success Centre

Nominated for living the philosophy of ‘best student experience,’ Donna Moore has dedicated her entire professional life to Western students and staff, serving as a mentor, advocate, leader and positive force in the lives of many.

Her nominator wrote: “One of Donna’s greatest strengths is her leadership, both personal and team leadership. She shares her knowledge, warmth and enthusiasm freely and has a talent for helping people identify and develop, their strengths and confidence. Anyone who has her on their side is truly fortunate.”


Mihaela Harmos
School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies

Nominated for her many initiatives involving postdoctoral scholars, Mihaela Harmos is recognized for her constant enthusiasm, boundless energy and total commitment to bettering the lives of postdoctoral scholars.

Her nominator wrote: “Postdocs have a life at Western now. They are recognized as being important members of the Western community that contribute greatly to the research excellence of our institution.”


Mirela Parau
Department of French Studies

Nominated as “the rock,” the “proactive guardian angel” and the “firecracker of energy and ideas” in French Studies, Mirela Parau is the “go-to-person,” with “Ask Mirela…” being the standard phrase in the department.

One nominator wrote: “I wish I had the opportunity to steal her away as she could easily double my productivity by both working for me and inspiring me to personally keep up with the high work standards she sets for herself.”


Rich Caccamo

Nominated for always going beyond his job description and for being an inspiration, Rich Caccamo works with Sophs, staff, faculty and students to ensure a warm welcome and smooth onboarding process is in place for those who are new to campus each September.

One nominator wrote: “Rich is always available for consultation, and genuinely cares about the students involved in the program. There have been multiple occasions on which he has reached out to me to ask about my personal well-being.”


Jane Lampkin and André Beaudin (Quebec)

Nominated for providing an outstanding experiential-learning experience, Jane Lampkin and André Beaudin (not pictured) contribute to Western in a unique way that preserves Canada’s culture as a bilingual nation.

Their nominator wrote: “Jane and André foster a welcoming learning environment and a hospitable experience for the students. Managing the challenges and complexity of campuses in Trois-Pistoles, Jane and André, along with their team in the community, are diligent in their efforts to adhere to Western’s values of integrity, respect for and commitment to academic standards of excellence in spite of the distance from Western.”