Awards recognize outstanding staff at Queen’s

Awards recognize outstanding staff at Queen’s

Principal Daniel Woolf presents the Special Recognition for Staff Awards during the Principal’s Holiday Reception.

By Communications Staff

December 5, 2018


The contributions and accomplishments of Queen’s staff were celebrated on Wednesday, Dec. 5 as the annual Principal’s Holiday Reception was hosted in the main gym of the Athletics and Recreation Centre (ARC).

One of the many events on Staff Appreciation Day, Principal Daniel Woolf also handed out the Special Recognition for Staff Awards.

This year’s winners are:

Karen Brick, Emily Culhane, Ignacio Donati, Stephanie Fischkohl, Marcia Irving, Loretta Kuruliak, Maeve McLatchie, Tom Nickerson,  Brandon Ruck, Julie Sharrard, Cathy Sheldrick, Industrial Relations Centre (Team)

The Industrial Relations Centre team is a finely tuned machine. Last year, they delivered 82 professional development programs to more than 1,600 people in nearly 400 different companies, representing private- and public-sector clients, unions and governments. That’s 25 more programs than the year before – an increase of 44 per cent. It was also their busiest year ever, with revenue up 30 per cent. These are impressive numbers, considering the personalized approach that the staff take with each participant.

When delivering programs across Canada and internationally, the team members are ambassadors for Queen’s, demonstrating the highest levels of collaboration, innovation, and customer focus.

Vera Kettnaker, Research Services

Clear. Precise. Impeccable. Timely. These are just some of the modifiers that describe Dr. Vera Kettnaker and her integral role in Queen’s research grants application process.  Since her arrival in 2014, Vera has provided expert advice to approximately 260 faculty members. She is known as an invaluable resource for Queen’s researchers. Her knowledge of the procedures and requirements of the various funding agencies and her outstanding technical and interdisciplinary knowledge enable her to critique the scientific content of each proposal and provide insight and technically relevant direction. In addition to sound advice and guidance, she also lends a patient and sympathetic ear when applications are unsuccessful.

Through the event a full bin of food was collected for the AMS Food Bank along with $170 in cash donations.
The handcrafted gingerbread house, courtesy of Queen’s Hospitality Services Sodexo, was won by Linda Lam of the School of Graduate Studies.

Arguably the most important Canadian funding competition for academic research in Natural Sciences and Engineering is the NSERC Discovery Grant program. Every year since she arrived at Queen’s, the success rate has been significantly higher than the national average. In the last competition, Queen’s had an 84 per cent success rate, compared with a Canada-wide average of 65 per cent.

Jackie Moore, Biomedical and Molecular Sciences

Jackie Moore is a change agent. Seven years ago, when Queen’s five basic science departments transitioned to the Department of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences, those involved relied heavily on Jackie’s dedication and commitment to the process, her exemplary organizational skills, and her intelligent council, gained from years of experience in her former department, Microbiology and Immunology. It is a real challenge to administer one of the university’s largest departments. It requires energy, intelligence, excellent interpersonal skills, and an unparalleled ability to multitask.

Despite her department head’s multiple roles, Jackie finds a way to screen, prioritize, reprioritize, coordinate, organize, and schedule and reschedule, sometimes for the fourth or fifth time. Jackie is responsible for managing the Human Body Donor program, working with the offices of the Chief Coroner of Ontario and prospective donors and families. This requires outstanding public relations skills and exceptional sensitivity, as well as being available after hours. She volunteers on the Faculty of Health Sciences Employee Engagement Committee, and helped to coordinate its first-annual engagement event, which exceeded all expectations.

Pat Tobin, Physical Plant Services

Pat Tobin’s attention to detail characterizes his work ethic and contributes to the positive impact he makes daily at the Douglas Library. He takes enormous pride in his work and it shows. Not only does he make sure that the space is clean and well maintained for staff, students, researchers, and donors, he will go the extra mile whenever needed. The W.D. Jordan Rare Books and Special Collections has some unique situations that on occasion need immediate assistance. When a public event is coming up, Pat helps to move tables, chairs, exhibit cases and frequently suggests new approaches when a large class visit, or a new exhibit is being planned.

Once, when a wedding was to take place in the 1923 Reading Room (the “Harry Potter Room”), he went as far as to clean and polish every single brass table lamp. Pat’s friendly personality and generous nature make it a privilege to work with him.

Teresa Touchette, Smith School of Business;

No job description could encompass all of the roles that Teresa Touchette plays in the lives of graduate students at the Smith School of Business. After 25 years in the Smith PhD-MSc Research office managing recruitment, admission, and graduation process, Teresa knows the answer to almost every question. Teresa cares passionately about the school being able to attract the best applicants. She works tirelessly to promptly respond to every question she receives. Over the course of an application cycle, this involves literally thousands of email exchanges with hundreds of applicants. She ensures that they are not left waiting in the dark about the status of their applications.

Teresa is often the first person that graduate students meet when they first arrive on campus. And she is with every student through every stage of their progression. When asked why they chose Smith for graduate work, students commonly credit Teresa’s personal interaction during the application process.

M. Yat Tse, Biomedical and Molecular Sciences;

As Manager, Research and Laboratories, in the Department of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences, Dr. Yat Tse oversees the research infrastructure and laboratory space supporting the research programs of 56 faculty and 10 clinician scientists in Botterell Hall. This also includes about 150 graduate and postdoctoral trainees, 30 research technical staff, and numerous undergraduate research thesis and summer students.  

His is an enormous task, impacting millions of dollars in regional, provincial, national, and international funding. Yat also manages the undergraduate teaching laboratory operation in the School of Medicine Building that services hundreds of biochemistry, life sciences, and medical students. Through all of this, he interacts with his team members and others with the ease of a natural leader, demonstrating patience and compassion.

Yat, who has a BSc and PhD in Chemistry from Queen’s, is also an innovative and meticulous investigator and has authored or co-authored 47 peer-reviewed research manuscripts.

Heather Wolsey, Queen’s Archives;

For 32 years, Heather Wolsey has been an invaluable member of the Queen’s Archives team. Her job description does not fully describe the impact her work has on the unit. The conservator, archivists, and now, librarians, are constantly adding to her workload as more materials are added to the collection, requiring her attention and subsequent treatment. Because of her eagerness to learn and expand her skills, Heather is now an experienced handler and preserver of multiple forms of fragile media, such as architectural drawings, sound recordings, letter books and ledgers, glass plate and nitrate negatives. Heather is now responsible for expanding the Archives’ collection of university artifacts, much loved by student organizations and alumni.

Heather also steered a long-term project that involved culling and processing records in the vaults, resulting in freeing up about 500 metres of shelf space, enabling the Archives to continue to fulfill its acquisition mandate.

Larke Zarichny, Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering;

If you were a student in Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering during the last 37 years, it is very likely that Larke Zarichny knows you by name. She also knows your spouse’s and your children’s names. Larke is unfailingly friendly and helpful to all. She is one of the main reasons that the department is well known for its welcoming atmosphere. This, in turn, has translated into perennial high rates of student success and satisfaction.

Known as the “heart” of the Queen’s geology community, Larke makes students feel welcome and included and provides them with support that they need to succeed. International students say she is the best Queen’s employee they have met so far; when homesickness strikes, she is always there for them. With her deep knowledge of the processes in the faculties of Arts and Science an Engineering and Applied Science, Larke can get just about anything done.