U Make a Difference Award

2019 Nominees 

Joan Anderson is an HR Advisor in HR Services, Human Resources. She was nominated in the Collaboration and Communication category.

Joan’s tenure at the university has been lengthy, and she is often called upon for her expertise or university knowledge she has obtained through her various roles. She has mentored many colleagues in her areas. Joan’s focus on excellence in her day-to-day work encourages others to give their very best. Joan is known for doing the “right thing” — not the “easy thing” — and keeps the university’s best interests in mind.

Thank you Joan!

Jo-Ann Bance is the Executive Director in the Office of the President. She was nominated in the Positive Work Environment and Community category.

Known on campus as someone you can depend on and look to for leadership and direction, Jo-Ann is a passionate and positive leader. Her focus on mental health, physical health, and recognition has been instrumental to the wellbeing of her team and our campus. In addition to teaching free yoga classes to faculty members, staff, and students of various units, she works with grace, humour and compassion.

Thank you Jo-Ann!

Brenda Bode is the Senior Administrative Assistant in the Faculty of Nursing. She was nominated in the Collaboration and Communication category.

Though Brenda is famous in the Faculty of Nursing for her ability to handle and manage a staggering volume of work on a day-to-day basis, she is best known as an excellent role model — providing advice, training and organizational tips to all around her. She played a significant role organizing documents, scheduling meetings, reviewing interviews, and coordinating events when the Faculty of Nursing had an external review to ensure accreditation.

Thank you Brenda!

Mona Csada is the Associate Director, Marketing, in University Relations. She was nominated in the Collaboration and Communication category.

Since 2016, Mona has been instrumental to growing a national marketing program. She keeps the university’s reputation and brand top-of-mind in all she does. While Mona is responsible for institutional projects and initiatives, she has proved herself as great resource and ally at the university by creating professional development opportunities for teams across the university and always making herself available as a coach and mentor. 

Thank you Mona!

Janice Cummins is a Facility Manager in Facilities. She was nominated in the Collaboration and Communication category.

As the facility manager for over a quarter of the university’s infrastructure, Janice’s proactive and regular communication with her clients has built trust and belief in her abilities to champion their individual and specific needs. While always looking for unique opportunities to collaborate, Janice goes out of her way to ensure everyone in her orbit — including clients, students, staff, and faculty — is taken care of.

Thank you Janice!

Jaquelyn “Jackie” Fisher is the Specialist, Occupational Hygiene in the Environment, Health and Safety Department. She was nominated in the Positive Work Environment and Community category.

Jackie is known as a trusted resource and a willing contributor to a variety of projects of great importance to the university, like the radon monitoring project completed this past year. Her superior ability to understand the needs of others shines through in her daily interactions with colleagues and clients in the university community, especially as it relates to sensitive or impactful topics.

Thank you Jackie!

Monica Freeman is an Undergraduate Administrator in the Department of Geomatics Engineering, Schulich School of Engineering. She was nominated in the Collaboration and Communication category.

As an instrumental influence in building relationships between students, staff, faculty, and industry supporters, Monica is particularly talented at getting to know students. When students need help, without exception, they turn to her first. She excels at listening, understanding, and connecting students with the people or resources they need. Her ability to coordinate and collaborate is recently evident in her management this year’s Geo Days.

Thank you Monica!

Federica Gowen is a Graduate Program Administrator in the School of Languages, Linguistics, Literatures and Cultures, Faculty of Arts. She was nominated in the Positive Work Environment and Community category.

For both long-term and short-term transitions, Federica has been a key contributor and supporter for her department and its members. Particularly for international students arriving in Canada for the first time, she has been a reassuring and welcoming presence. Speaking five languages, she is instrumental in guiding students through new processes, creating positive environments, and diminishing the stress of moving to a new country.

Thank you Federica!

Dr. Michele Jacobsen is a Professor and Vice Dean at the Werklund School of Education. She was nominated in the Collaboration and Communication category.

Michele is a leader in fostering collaborative relationships within her faculty, across faculties, and throughout the broader educational community. She is highly connected to other faculties and actively engages colleagues to enhance their teaching and scholarship. Michele is admired for her respectful communication, and the way she supports collaborative relationships with faculty and students. Her leadership supports a culture of cooperative, respectful, and open communication.

Thank you Michele!

Abhinav Khanna is the Manager, Financial Aid and Operations, Student and Enrolment Services. He was nominated in the Positive Work Environment and Community category.

Working in a front-line environment where he is faced with a variety of personalities, Abhinav has made going above and beyond for his superiors, his staff, and for students a routine in his area. His tireless bravery, compassion, and understanding maintains a high level of optimism, engagement, solidarity, and collaboration within his team — which has lasting impacts on the entire department.

Thank you Abhinav!

Vivian Leung is an Exams and Grades Coordinator in the Office of the Registrar, Student and Enrolment Services. She was nominated in the Communication and Collaboration category.

Exemplifying both patience and commitment, Vivian’s leadership is matched only by her commitment to students. She regularly takes on more work than is required to the benefit of her team. Her thoughtful, professional approach contributes to the overall pillars of the university and creates connection to our campus community. But what sets her apart is her engaging, innovative student-centric work.

Thank you Vivian!

Holly Lywin is the Executive Assistant to the Dean of Nursing. She was nominated in the Positive Work Environment and Community category.

While undertaking many challenging projects, Holly has made learning and sharing a priority in her work, and on a large scale. Specifically, her initiative to implement networking groups to share knowledge and experiences and increase collaboration and communication in her areas has been an asset to many across campus. While constantly enhancing her own personal effectiveness, Holly has actively contributed to overall organizational success.

Thank you Holly!

Terri May is the Manager, Business and Operations, in the McCaig Institute for Bone and Joint Health at the Cumming School of Medicine. She was nominated in the Collaboration and Communication category.

With her vast knowledge of university policies and procedures, Terri always knows the right person to contact while working on a project. But more than that, she is committed to helping her staff improve and pursue training opportunities.  Terri makes an effort to acknowledge the efforts of others — namely with her “Good to the Bone” award which acknowledges those who make work fun, stimulating, and rewarding.

Thank you Terri!

John McDougall is the Business Process Administrator in the School of Creative and Performing Arts, Faculty of Arts. He was nominated in the Innovation and Curiosity category.

Whether it’s developing processes to overcome challenges, identifying potentials no one has recognized, or simply cleaning up a general work area for a colleague, John is that rare team player who is one step ahead in understanding what is needed in the moment. His calm, consistent approach to creating solutions to existing problems is contagious, which helps to foster a similar climate within the team. 

Thank you John!

Kim McIntyre is a Space Planning Associate at Campus Architecture, Facilities Development. She was nominated in the Positive Work Environment and Community category.

As a consistent and reliable source of expertise, advice, and support, Kim was involved in many renovation and reconfiguration projects at Scurfield Hall. She is able to successfully incorporate a very multi-faceted design plan for various projects to meet the needs of all stakeholders while upholding the University of Calgary design standards and safety and fire codes for institutional space design.

Thank you Kim!

Chanelle McLeod is a Community Engagement Coordinator at the Haskayne School of Business. She was nominated in the Positive Work Environment and Community category.

As a team member, Chanelle doesn’t just proactively offer to take work off her colleagues’ plate during stressful times, she insists. As a remarkable social planner, she takes the initiative to organize group lunches and team-building sessions so colleagues can get to know each other better. She also mentors student ambassadors by taking a keen interest in their goals and passions, while finding ways to help them grow.

Thank you Chanelle!

Dr. Julio Mercader is an Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology, Faculty of Arts. He wasnominated in the Collaboration and Communication category.

As leading researcher, Julio encourages his students and postdocs to think and work as a research team, with regular team brainstorming sessions, follow-up meetings, and open seminars. With his interpersonal skills, Julio is exceptional at knocking down cultural barriers through his work, but also in his pledge to outreach. He doesn’t just know cutting-edge scientific practices, he has excellent personal qualities.

Thank you Julio!

Dr. Vivian Janet Mozol is a Senior Instructor in the Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science. She was nominated in the Collaboration and Communication category.

Leading creative discussions on the discovery and implementation of new ideas, the shaping of young student minds and the reinforcement of new and emerging leaders are just a few of the skills Vivian exhibits in her day-to-day work. Vivian’s incredible commitment to her position, as well as her dedication to creative collaborative relationships benefits all who have the pleasure to work with her.

Thank you Vivian!

Darleen Murdoch is an Administrative Assistant in the Faculty of Social Work. She was nominated in the Positive Work Environment and Community category.

Regardless of season, time of day, or how busy she is, Darleen has the remarkable ability to make every person who phones, emails, or meets her in person feel special and heard. Her connection to students gives her the unique ability to calm nerves and help them negotiate problems. But it’s not just students, Darleen regularly contributes to and promotes a positive work environment and employee recognition.

Thank you Darleen!

Dr. David Nicholas is a Professor in the Central N AB Division, Faculty of Social Work. He was nominated in the Collaboration and Communication category.

As an active researcher engaged in provincial, national, and international projects, David has created and established partnerships across the globe that enables colleagues, undergraduate and graduate students to expand their professional networks. But he contributes to more than just professional development. David seeks to lift up his fellow colleagues and works hard to bring out their individual and collective strengths.

Thank you David!

Samantha “Sam” Paterson is the Manager, Social Media, in Marketing, University Relations. She was nominated in the Collaboration and Communication category.

As someone who has a passion for innovation, Sam is consistently pushing her team and the university as a whole into spaces we need to be. Her bravery is exemplified in her ability to try new things and see what sticks. Sam’s commitment to educating her colleagues and coworkers has measurable improvements in their quality of work, and her leadership has made valuable impacts on her team.

Thank you Sam!

Kathleen Ralph is a Student Engagement Coordinator in the Undergraduate Science Centre, Faculty of Science. She was nominated in the Positive Work Environment and Community category.

Kathleen is known as someone who truly goes out of her way to provide a nurturing and positive environment for the students she works with. She not only encourages their growth but respects them as young adults trying to find their way in life. Most Faculty of Science events for undergraduate students have in some way been shaped by Kathleen who is always striving for others’ success.

Thank you Kathleen!

Dr. Pamela Roach is the Program Manager for the Brain and Mental Health Research Clinics (BMRC) and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences. She was nominated in the Positive Work Environment and Community category.

Many know Pamela as the epitome of an equitable, diverse, and inclusive work environment. As a female and part indigenous Canadian, she is a critical role model for students and research assistants. Always looking to benefit the experiences of others, Pamela impacts her field with her research work and leadership skills. Additionally, her commitment to the community is an infectious force that regularly inspires others.

Thank you Pamela!

Melissa Shea-Budgell is the Team Lead, Strategy and Partnerships, in the Arnie Charbonneau Cancer Institute and Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Oncology, Cumming School of Medicine. She was nominated in the Collaboration and Communication category.

Melissa is passionate about positive patient outcomes, and is committed to skillfully supporting researchers and collaborators in the field. She is uniquely able to bring together partners from differing backgrounds while making profound and positive impacts on all those around her. Directly and indirectly, Melissa enhances the collaborative experiences of her co-workers and strategic partners through her leadership and mentorship.

Thank you Melissa!

Linda Stevens is the Director, HR Services, in Human Resources. She was nominated in the Collaboration and Communication category.

While elevating the quality of service her team delivers across campus, Linda knows that supporting and coaching her team is an important part of leadership. Where there is a problem, she owns it and gets it fixed. Linda demonstrates the qualities of true leadership by not only performing above expectations but by seeking opportunities to improve the workplace for her team, her colleagues, and her clients.

Thank you Linda!

Cindy Sutherland is a Research Technician in the Libin Cardiovascular Institute, Cumming School of Medicine. She was nominated in the Positive Work Environment and Community category.

Working for the university for over 30 years, Cindy is an experienced, valued, and well connected member of her team. Always happy to assist anyone who asks, she is known as an expert willing to share, teach, and mentor. With a passion for safety and waste-reduction, Cindy’s influence on the team has had important impacts on their careers and work satisfaction.

Thank you Cindy!

Dr. Milana Trifkovic is an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, Schulich School of Engineering. She was nominated in the Positive Work Environment and Community category.

Throughout her years at the university, Milana walks the talk when it comes to diversity in the workplace. With a team of 20 students from 12 countries, she is devoted to a diverse community of researchers where cross-cultural understanding and acceptance is respected and promoted. Milana heavily advocates for equality, diversity, and inclusion within her research group, department, faculty, and the university as a whole.

Thank you Milana!

Michelle Vogt is an Undergraduate Program Advisor in the Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts. She was nominated in the Innovation and Curiosity category.

Known as a forward thinker, Michelle is talented at anticipating future problems and considering solutions and creative ways of avoiding or redressing those problems in advance. In addition to her problem-solving abilities, Michelle provides invaluable academic guidance and support to students, while simultaneously improving the outcomes of every task and project she works on. Her work-ethic is unparalleled and her energy knows no bounds.

Thank you Michelle!

Dr. Ian Walker is the Director, Office Administration and Financial Aid and Clinical Associate Professor in the Cumming School of Medicine. He was nominated in the Innovation and Curiosity category.

Ian has strived to improve both the efficiency and the nature of student selection methods for the benefit of all involved. While transforming the application process, he devoted countless hours to his admissions blog, with the express purpose alieve stress and anxiety. No matter how much effort or time an improvement takes, Ian executes it seamlessly to ensure a better experience for all.

Thank you Ian!

Dr. Mea Wang is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science, Faculty of Science. She was nominated in the Positive Work Environment and Community category.

In addition to her regular responsibilities at the university, Mea built a large, collaborative network of students, teachers, and professionals for computer science and entrepreneurship education within our university community — and our local community. Mea’s ability to bring people together through events, symposiums and workshops has improved the work environment for her team, as well as the learning environment for students.

Thank you Mea!

Wanda Watson-Neufeld is the Operations Manager in the Faculty of Nursing. She was nominated in the Innovation and Curiosity category.

Because of her hard work, fair attitude, and positive management style, Wanda has created a positive culture of customer service and ushered in a “what’s good” mentality. While she routinely empowers her team to find new and better ways of doing things, Wanda ensures they are armed with the knowledge and skills they need to move forward and be successful in all they do at the university.

Thank you Wanda!

Qualtrics Implementation Team, Collaboration and Communication category:

  • Jeff Bowes
  • Luc Boyer
  • Jean Gomes
  • Philip Johnston
  • Adnan Ahmed
  • Jodi Egan
  • Elizabeth Jeffray
  • Katherine Kinnear

Qualtrics is an elite digital survey tool used by research institutions throughout the country and around the world. The Qualtrics Implementation Team can best be described as a collaborative, self-organizing team. Rather than wait for leaders to assign the project, the team came together spontaneously to identify what it saw as a major obstacle to the University of Calgary’s Eyes High aspirations. Key to overcoming this obstacle was the team’s ability to work across traditional departmental boundaries, as well as its perseverance, despite the many technical and financial obstacles along the way.

Thank you to the Qualtrics Implementation Team!

QLESS Implementation Team, Innovation and Curiosity category:

  • Abhinav Khanna
  • Michelle MacKenzie
  • Tiffany Orgill
  • Monica Gollaz
  • Dmitry Romanov (posthumous consideration)
  • Caleb Zimmerman
  • Shakera Swizdaryk

The Quality Money program enables students to have a direct impact on where funding is directed on campus, ensuring their interests are reflected. This project demonstrates how common challenges can be addressed with creative solutions and new technologies. QLESS Implementation Team was a highly efficient team that saw the need to improve service to students, researched solutions, developed the project requirements and the proposal to secure funding and execute the project. The project has been so successful that IT is planning to expand the service to other campus stakeholders who require a queuing solution.

Thank you to the QLESS Implementation Team!

CHILD Team, Innovation and Curiosity category:

  • Dr. Nicole Letourneau
  • Kharah Ross
  • Elena Ali
  • Lubna Anis
  • Amelia Potter
  • Jelena Komanchuk
  • Bikramjit Sekhon
  • Julia Imanoff
  • Martha Hart
  • Virginia Xavier
  • Andrea Deane
  • Henry Ntanda
  • Jason Novick
  • Tracey Reynaud
  • Jennifer Bon Bernard

United by a shared interest in pursuing exciting ideas that support vulnerable families, the CHILD Team is a collective of dedicated individuals with diverse disciplinary backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives. The CHILD team members are curious and creative and truly understand we are all learners here. While all CHILD team research is scientifically sound and methodologically rigorous, many projects are also imbued with an entrepreneurial spirit in order to support sustainability and maximal impact.

Thank you to the CHILD Team!

Sport Medicine Centre’s Acute Knee Injury Clinic (AKIC), Collaboration and Communication category:

  • Meryl Wheeler
  • Tori Thome
  • Jodi Toews

The Sport Medicine Centre’s Acute Knee Injury Clinic (AKIC) Team is responsible for triaging over 4,000 people each year and assessing over 2,000 patients. Throughout the Centre’s transition to a new Clinical Information System in 2018, the Centre began to implement a new information technology infrastructure which included a new Electronic Medical Record system and a patient interface portal for electronic referrals as well as a system to allow patients to book appointments online. The AKIC team consistently strives to make the process of patient screening, triage, assessment and management the highest standard possible.

Thank you to the Sport Medicine Centre’s Acute Knee Injury Clinic (AKIC)!

Admissions and Records Team from the Faculty of Graduate Studies, Collaboration and Communication category:

  • Corey Wilkes
  • Robin Hawes
  • Catalina Kovacs
  • Carmen Ho
  • Joanna Wong
  • Nicholas Beck
  • Christine Verwoerd

Admissions and Records Team from the Faculty of Graduate Studies Team has collaborated with several teams internally and on campus, and strives to ensure all groups they work with are supported, respected, included and consulted in order to have the best outcomes. They bridge the faculty with the individual graduate programs, which is a complex role critical for the smooth review and processing of exceptional student requests and the resolution of complex issues. To them, it doesn’t matter if the change or innovation is small or large, the Team understands the impact on graduate programs, graduate students, and other stakeholders.

Thank you to the Admissions and Records Team from the Faculty of Graduate Studies!

Nursing's Undergrad Program and Practice Team, Collaboration and Communication category:

  • Dr. Catherine Laing
  • Zahra Shajani   

The focus of their roles may be different, but the individuals on this team present a united front. Since starting their roles, they have hosted monthly lunches with the undergraduate faculty in Craigie Hall and created a space where faculty members can connect, establish, or renew relationships, or simply gather to check in with each other. They have engaging the undergraduate faculty members to exemplify their core values of respect, inclusivity, compassion, leadership, courage and wellbeing.

Thank you to the Nursing's Undergrad Program and Practice Team!