Sept. 18, 2019

Shining Star Awards showcase passionate people committed to health and safety on campus

Meet your UCalgary Shining Star Award winners, presented by the Risk portfolio during Safety and Wellness Week

The Risk Shining Star awards celebrate the people who go above and beyond to foster and strengthen the University of Calgary’s safety and wellness culture. This year, as part of Risk’s fifth annual Safety and Wellness Week, UCalgary employees were honoured for their commitment to making the university a safer and healthier place for all students, faculty and staff. 

Paulette Harrison, biological sciences technician and Joint Worksite Health and Safety Committee (JWHSC) co-chair, received a Risk Shining Star Award for her passionate and tireless work on the JWHSC as well as her commitment to ensuring a rewarding, safe experience for first-year students in her faculty.

“I was surprised and shocked to hear I had won the award because I feel like there’s so much on my to-do list,” she says. “There’s so much more I want to contribute so our campus is the safest and healthiest it can possibly be.”

Harrison was instrumental in forming the JWHSC, and in recruiting committee members to ensure all workers around campus were represented in the committee. As co-chair, Harrison guides important conversations and tasks related to health and safety on campus.

“I want people to know they can talk to anyone on the committee,” Harrsion says. “We are here to help resolve safety or wellness issues that need to be addressed to make sure we're all safe and supporting each other,” she says.

Harrison says the recognition that comes with the Shining Star awards and other awards on campus fuel the passion and persistence it takes to spark change and innovate.

“The more you recognize someone for their work, the more they'll do for the university,” Harrsion says. “We are a university family and it’s important we feel motivated to continue doing great things in a safe way.”

Learn more about the JWHSC in UToday, or check the JWHSC website for a list of representatives, terms of reference and meeting minutes

Meet all the 2019 Shining Star award recipients

Laura Eggen
Technician, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology — Cumming School of Medicine

Apart from supporting a large group of lab personnel and faculty members, Laura has contributed significantly to the expansion of several Risk programs at the university. Laura was a member of the Immunization Program working group IN 2013/14. She is a longtime member of the Biosafety Committee since 2013 and an emergency warden for her area. Laura provides insightful perspectives from UCalgary and other academic institutions and is highly focused on making UCalgary a better place to work and learn.

Randy Steinbach
Facility Manager — Facilities

Randy has provided tremendous support for Campus Security at UCalgary. All the health science security officers know Randy well and depend on his knowledge, professionalism and willingness to help on a daily basis. The operations at the Health Science Centre run very smoothly with Randy at the helm and he has become a valuable asset. 

Donna Wray
Manager, Business Operations — Cumming School of Medicine

Donna is a safety and wellness leader — her proactive approach to lab safety issues including fixed gas detection, inspections, equipment maintenance, training and development of safety protocols/procedures have been implemented across the Arnie Charbonneau Cancer Institute and adopted by others. Donna takes charge of initiatives and makes impactful improvements. 

Keith Gill
Supervisor — Facilities

Keith has always been an engaged and supportive resource for Campus Security. No matter the time of day — or more often the night — Keith quickly acknowledges and responds to calls from Campus Security. He takes responsibility for solving Facilities Management issues and co-ordinating contractors. Understanding, expertise and a sense of humour ensure that if Keith is the manager on call, Campus Security will have a very positive interaction.

Nanako Furuyama
Co-ordinator, Women’s Resource Centre — Student and Enrolment Services

As the subject matter expert for the Better Impact volunteer registration system, Nanako was instrumental to developing this valuable tool for the UCalgary community. Nanako offered her knowledge to system development, participated in the test group for volunteer co-ordinator training and continues to work diligently on the Volunteer Management Registration System Advisory Committee.

Jennifer Sinclair
Adviser — Legal Services and Privacy

Jennifer’s expertise in matters of privacy was an invaluable resource in developing the Volunteer Management Registration System. Jennifer worked with relevant departments to develop required questions and assisted in the process to refine questions so they could be included on the system.

Lucy Poley
PhD student — Department of Geography

Lucy offered her assistance and subject matter expertise to the drone policy and process. Lucy continues to work with Risk on the standard operating procedures for drones on and off campus, in buildings and on the field stations.

Paulette Harrison
Technician, Biological Sciences — Faculty of Science

Paulette has demonstrated outstanding safety leadership in her role as the worker co-chair of the newly formed University of Calgary Joint Worksite Health and Safety Committee (JWHSC) for the Calgary worksites. Paulette was instrumental in assisting with onboarding other worker representatives selected by the different worker groups, contributing to agenda development, chairing meetings and assisting with follow-up. Her willingness to step into this role and support the shared goals for continuously improving safety at the university is deeply appreciated.

Steven Gasser
Associate Vice-President — Facilities Management

In 2018 Facilities Management reduced their lost time frequency rate by 51 per cent, and had 11 fewer lost time injuries than the previous year. Facilities Management is on track to improve their safety performance again in 2019. As the leader of Facilities Management, Steven has been instrumental in producing these results. He created a collaborative spirit in guiding the Facilities Management Safety Improvement Team (SIT) Committee and supported several initiatives such as improvements to the electronic Field Level Hazard Assessment Process and Ergonomic Injury Reduction Project. Steven is also a co-leader of the University Emergency Operations Group.

Rebekah Jarvis
Sr. Communications Specialist — Strategic Communications

Rebekah continues to go over and above supporting and assisting the Risk portfolio in the development of various projects. These initiatives include the redesign of the Risk website, Safety and Wellness Week, Emergency Preparedness week, Campus Security annual report and online reporting, the UC Emergency App, and the annual flu campaign. Rebekah's subject matter expertise, sense of humour and positive attitude are a pleasure to be around. Rebekah's work greatly supports the Risk portfolio in building a positive health and safety culture on campus.

TJ Fedyk
Supervisor, Student Housing Services — Residence Operations

As the main Residence Services contact, TJ provided invaluable support during Phase 1 of the Radon Monitoring project. TJ helped organize and co-ordinate sampling activities by reviewing dormitory lists, providing keys for access, emailing informational and entry notices to tenants in advance of sample pickup and setup activities. TJ enlisted the help of community advisers to hang informative posters in common areas and, and educated staff so they could accurately answer or direct questions from residents. TJ is always available and willing to help — there is no doubt that TJ, Residence Services, and the Residence Education Team contributed to the success of the radon measurement project.

Lakshmi Sangarayanananan
Associate Director — Residence Services

Lakshmi has assisted the Risk Management and Insurance department for years as an excellent emergency responder. She has supported remediation information and is our main liaison with the affected residents. Lakshmi also works with us to identify and refine processes related to mitigation and loss prevention. She is always willing to step in and help (even in the late hours), maintains open and transparent communications with us and the residents, and has truly been an excellent partner to our department.

Emma Spanswick
Assistant Professor, Physics and Astronomy — Faculty of Science

Emma Spanswick is the co-director of the Auroral Imaging Group operating out of the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Due to the nature of the field activities and the remote locations involved, Emma and her team have extensive experience with field communications and hazard assessments. Emma shared a presentation on her experiences in the field, titled: From Hind Sight to Fore Thought … Inspired Field Safety. Her presentation demonstrated the importance of field-level hazard assessments, registering travel plans with Risk Management and Insurance and field communication options. Her presentation has been discussed at SIT meetings within the Faculty of Science and is driving opportunities for department SIT Committees to host future presentations on topics of interest and importance with both internal and external subject-matter experts.

Venetia Bancroft
Executive Assistant
 — Legal Services

Venetia was instrumental in defining the scope of the evolving environmental compliance management system for the University of Calgary. Through her attention to detail and in-depth knowledge of the University’ Legislative Compliance program, she conducted a good analysis and provided detailed insight to the project team on applicable pieces of legislation regarding air, water, waste, land and/or biodiversity. Venetia’s support helped focus the efforts of the project on the relevant environmental compliance obligations and assisted in identifying key stakeholders.

Logan Jones
Manager, Youth Programs — Kinesiology

Logan is a great supporter of Risk Management and Insurance programs. He openly communicates and collaborates and is always quick to assist with any request for information. He recently provided access to the Active Living registration system so that information can be obtained in a timely fashion in the event of an emergency during an Outdoor Program course. He has also worked with Risk Management and Insurance on their retro-fit of the electronic waiver program.

Kome Odoko
Student Support Case Management Co-ordinator — Student Wellness

Kome has been instrumental in establishing and operating the Post Alcohol Support Space. Kome was heavily involved in developing the protocols, and supervises the room which helps reduce the risk of alcohol and cannabis related injury through proper care for our community.