job well done
New awards honour staff for contributions to
Four individual UVic employees and
a team led by two other staff members have won the first annual
President’s Distinguished Service Awards.
“We have 4,000 people working on campus—many
of whom have worked here their entire careers,” says UVic
President Dr. David Turpin. “This year’s award winners
have made numerous outstanding contributions to the university,
ranging from making it easier for mature students to return to university
to designing a database that links co-op students with potential
employers. It’s my great pleasure to recognize their achievements
and the positive difference they’ve made to the university
were nominated in two categories—the Award for Distinguished
Service and the Team Award for Innovation. The winners are:
Diane Anderson, a program co-ordinator in continuing
studies since 1991, has helped build the certificate in adult and
continuing education into a dynamic and innovative program that’s
exciting to both students and faculty.
“She and her team welcome students with
rusty brains and unspoken fears about our ability to cope with the
rigours of academe,” writes a student who nominated Anderson
for the award. “We’re invited into a family of students
from all over B.C. and the world beyond.”
Patrick George, senior academic assistant in the department
of visual arts and a UVic employee for more than 30 years, has lent
a hand to the entire campus.
For example, when a research group in mechanical engineering
needed help developing innovative silk-screening techniques, their
solution came from George. His expertise as a printmaker allowed
them to extend this ancient art to modern, low-cost production methods
for making proton exchange membrane fuel cell gas delivery plates
and membrane electrode assembly. Ultimately, the project led to
worldwide industrial patents and the establishment of a new stream
In addition to his work at UVic, George continues
to receive commissions for his prints.
Karen McIvor, the history department’s senior
secretary since 1988, sets the tone for a department known for its
collegiality and supportive learning environment. In many ways she’s
been the heart and soul of the department, serving as administrative
assistant, conference organizer, outreach co-ordinator, equipment
and space organizer, guest speaker organizer, student advisor, informal
host and resource person—all while working directly for four
“I often describe my job as air traffic
control,” says McIvor. “I don’t know how to fly
the plane or serve the food. My job is simply to stop the pilots
from crashing into one another.”
Shari Yore, administrative assistant to the vice president
academic and an employee for more than 25 years, consistently demonstrates
a commitment to the university. She defines her success in terms
of the success of others and is a natural mentor to all with whom
Whether working with administrators, faculty, staff
or government officials, she remains calm and efficient even when
dealing with a crisis or something thrown at her at the last minute.
“I think it’s wonderful for the president to develop
this program to recognize staff in a way that hasn’t been
done before,” says Yore.
The Team Award for Innovation recognizes a team or
group for innovations that improve an educational, administrative
or organizational process. The award goes to the co-op education
Faced with an outdated information system that was
no longer meeting co-op’s needs, and a $2 million estimated
cost of replacing it, special projects manager Carmen Leeming and
administrative officer Andrea Giles came up with a business plan
to develop a dream database for $245,000.
The cost difference was made possible by an innovative
proposal: the system architecture would be designed by Leeming who
would project manage teams of UVic co-op student employees to develop
the software, write user manuals and train co-op staff. In tandem,
Giles would develop a comprehensive operational plan for consultation
between the development team and the co-op staff, for both beta-testing
and transition from the old system to the new one.
The team included Leeming, Giles, and 10 co-op student
employees who worked over a two-year period. The database, at <www.mamook.net>,
has won rave reviews from co-op staff, employers and students.
In all, the nine members of the President’s
Distinguished Awards membership committee received 42 nominations
for the Award for Distinguished Service and nine for the Team Award
Each recipient received a plaque during a ceremony on Dec. 12. For
more information on the awards go to <web.uvic.ca/univsec/DistinguishService.html>.
Above, left to right: computer science co-op students
Myron Wu, Brenton Bartel and Chris Chan, with Giles and Leeming.
(Rob Kruyt photo)
Lower left: Yore (Joy Poliquin photo). Lower right,
left to right: McIvor, George and Anderson. (Rob Kruyt photo)