Celebrating community contributions

Celebrating community contributions

By Communications Staff

December 7, 2017


The contributions of Queen’s staff were recognized on Thursday, Dec. 7 during the annual Principal’s Holiday Reception.

Principal Daniel Woolf handed out the Special Recognition for Staff Awards during the event, hosted in the main gym of the Athletics and Recreation Centre.

Staff contributed to the community as well as a full bin of food was collected for the AMS Food Bank along with $192.25 in cash donations.

The handcrafted gingerbread house, courtesy of Queen’s Hospitality Services Sodexo, was won by Ben Seewald of Advancement Alumni Relations.

This year’s winners are:

Barbra Lalonde Brousseau, Global Development Studies

Barbra Brousseau’s sunny personality belies the focus she employs when tackling the diverse tasks that come her way – or indeed – that she invites her way.

Since joining Global Development Studies four years ago, Barbra’s personal investment in the department, its students, faculty and staff, has been transformational. After the department’s graduate assistant retired, Barbra assumed these responsibilities in addition to her own.

She introduced a streamlined undergraduate enrolment system that enabled students to enrol themselves, freeing up staff time to assist other students during registration, resulting in a quicker turnaround and reducing students’ stress about getting into a preferred course.

On her own initiative, Barbra developed a spreadsheet that allowed the department to calculate future budget scenarios for three years – an accomplishment that won high praise from the faculty office and solidified her reputation as an accounts wizard.

Barbara is dedicated to the student cause. Not only does she quickly resolve students’ logistical or program-related questions, she also provides – quite literally – a shoulder to cry on when needed and is a source of endless positive encouragement.

Wendy Cumpson, Biomedical and Molecular Sciences

With her exceptional organizational skills, discipline, and capacity for hard work, Wendy Cumpson is known as the “go-to” person in her office – always willing to take on new challenges.

Last spring, when the department was accepting a flood of new applications for its new graduate programs, Wendy took the lead in processing that flood – on top of her other responsibilities.

Wendy demonstrates the highest standards of ethics and responsibility, and takes great pride in her work.  She knows the regulations and has every nuance memorized. Graduate students know they can trust the information she provides without question. Wendy knows every single graduate student by name. That makes each one of them – and there are a lot of them – feel important.

Wendy is always willing to help others by lending an ear and giving expert advice. As one graduate student remarked, “I go to the fifth-floor office to freak out at least once a week, and Wendy is always there to provide warm words of encouragement. She calmly assesses the situation and provides me with the resources I need.”

Fiona Froats, School of Policy Studies

As the administrator of the School of Policy Studies’ Master of Public Administration and the Professional MPA programs, Fiona Froats is the first person that students turn to with questions about classes, understanding the program or learning about opportunities.

Fiona is involved in every step: through recruitment, admissions, orientation, awards, program planning, student study tours and alumni outreach. Fiona makes each student feel comfortable and supported. She provides advice and assurance during what can be the most stressful period of a student’s academic career. She makes sure they are on track and is there to help in any way that she can.

Students with offers from other universities have been known to choose Queen’s because Fiona made them feel welcome right from their very first conversation. As a result, Fiona has fostered a strong network of alumni, always willing to contribute and give back to the school, because she was so supportive of them while they were students.

Selina Idlas, Centre for Teaching and Learning

Selina Idlas supports educators in their transition to onQ, Queen’s new learning management system, as well providing support for other software connected to the Learning Management System.

Thanks to successive software migrations, Selina frequently faces frustrated and less-than-eager users of the new educational technology. Yet, with consistent good humour, professionalism and encouragement, she forges productive and positive working relationships with faculty members, students and staff, while building their confidence and skill levels.

Her dedication to the onQ transition goes beyond ordinary expectations. She regularly conducts her own research to find complementary software applications and creative solutions for instructors’ individual needs. As one educator put it, “I walked into the CTL, stumbled upon Selina, and she made it all happen in a blink of an eye.”

The support Selina has provided to more than one thousand, seven hundred and eighty educators through consultations, workshops and collaborative onQ drop-in sessions, makes her an indispensable member of the CTL team and a valuable asset to Queen’s.

Pamela Livingston, Biomedical and Molecular Sciences

Pamela Livingston’s attention to detail ensures that the entire biochemistry laboratory teaching program runs like a well-oiled machine.

As a senior technician, Pamela provides a nurturing teaching environment for about 150 undergraduate biochemistry and life science students and eight teaching assistants. She is accommodating and willing to adjust her role to make the lab experience as positive and efficient as possible. Her detailed notes and “cheat sheets” help to keep everyone on track. Her approachable nature encourages one and all to reach out without hesitation.

Pamela is a huge advocate for her students. If an experiment does not yield the best results possible, she will troubleshoot and adjust the protocol until it meets her high standards.

Pamela’s vivacious spirit is renowned.  She has been known to wear a tiara on special occasions and hand out gold star stickers for exceptional work. Her exemplary organizational skills make it easy for new staff to join the team and adapt quickly. She literally wants the university to shine and will come in to clean up after hours to prepare the labs for tours and the new school term.

Colette Steer, School of Graduate Studies

Colette Steer is responsible for planning, coordinating and executing the recruitment strategy for 125 graduate programs housed within 50-plus departments.

Colette has pioneered new outreach and recruitment methods, attracting a diverse, talented and committed graduate student complement to the university. The Three-Minute Thesis competition, Tri-Council Recognition Event, Graduate Career Week and dissertation-on-the-lake, are now hallmark SGS events, due in large part to Colette’s efforts.

Colette responds instantly to all requests and welcomes every visitor like a good friend. A kind and thoughtful colleague, she is always ready with the perfect Aussie-ism to bring a smile. Outside the office, she can be heard on her weekly CFRC radio program Grad Chat, where she interviews students about their research, providing them with valuable media experience and an opportunity to showcase their ideas.

Colette is a champion for graduate students. She takes the time to get to know and genuinely cares about them. As one student observed, “It’s almost impossible to capture Colette’s enthusiasm and positivity with mere words – although a long string of exclamation marks might do the trick!”

Joan Sharpe and Emily Smith, Surveillance Studies Centre (Team)

Joan Sharpe and Emily Smith came to Queen’s in 2003 to work for the Queen’s Surveillance Studies project. From this beginning, their complementary skill sets would form a framework for success.

As the project grew, so did Joan and Emily’s responsibilities. New funding allowed the centre to bring in visitors and visiting scholars from around the world. 

Joan coordinated these new arrivals, ensuring that their needs were met. More visitors led to more publications. Emily played a critical role in facilitating the production of these publications. When the project applied to become a research centre, the duo took charge of the process, demonstrating that it was deserving of promotion to the next level.

Emily and Joan possess a calm, unflappable demeanour and the ability to juggle multiple tasks. Beyond their efficient administration and research skills, they bring energy to every project through their enthusiasm and their ability to relate to staff, faculty, students and visiting researchers.

Emily and Joan’s doors are always open for students’ concerns and questions, from administrative procedures and academic tasks to Canadian politics and weekend activities.

Sandra Turcotte, School of Rehabilitation Therapy

Since 1999, Sandra Turcotte has been the backbone of the School of Rehabilitation Therapy.

Imbued with compassion and a quiet leadership style, she also possesses the confidence to make hard decisions when required. Sandra does not back away from challenges. Instead, she gathers information, consults others and develops the best course of action.

Sandra nurtures her staff, ensuring that they have the required skills in a changing workplace through in-house education and continuing development opportunities. She recognizes ability and promise in new employees and mentors them through to positions of greater responsibility.

Sandra is fiercely loyal and will go to bat for her work colleagues, family and friends. Her zest for life is infectious and contributes to a happy, positive work environment. Sandra brings the school together. Sandra is content to stay out of the limelight and is happy to see that light shine on others.

Today, the limelight belongs to Sandra.