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UBC Reports | Vol. 48 | No. 7 | May 2, 2002

UBC Standouts Cited for Service

Dedicated employees earn presidential award.

By Hilary Thomson

Five members of the university community are being recognized for their outstanding contributions to UBC and campus life as recipients of this year's President's Service Award for Excellence.

Each recipient will receive a gold medal and $5,000 in a presentation during Spring Congregation ceremonies.

Janice Austin has served UBC as a library assistant for almost 35 years helping a generation of students and faculty with research, course work and theses.

She has spent most of her UBC career in the Education Library, building and maintaining its collection and serving on the Information Desk.

Known for both her efficiency and humour, Austin's knowledge of resources spans books, CD-ROMs, videos and databases. She is able to process a high volume of detailed work with speed and accuracy and her caring, calm manner and problem-solving abilities have helped hundreds of students with their searches.

Described by colleagues as the glue that holds together the Dept. of Curriculum Studies, Saroj Chand has been adminstrative assistant in the department for almost eight years.

Her responsibilities range from hiring instructors to scheduling classes and overseeing budgets as well as managing her own staff. Co-workers refer to her as the heart of the administrative team and she is praised for her nurturing and caring support to students, faculty and staff.

A blend of competence and practical vision is what co-workers say about Christine Graham who has worked in the Dept. of Statistics administering the graduate and undergraduate programs since 1988. Her tasks include processing applications, sorting out registration problems, advising students and organizing timetables. She is recognized as a leader in incorporating the use of new technologies and software.

Employees credit her warm welcome and training skills. Graduate students describe Graham as sincere, with a good sense of humour, enormous patience and inexhaustible energy.

A problem-solver known for her intellectual energy and humour, Michelle McCaughran has served UBC for 27 years and has been the administrator in the School of Audiology and Speech Sciences since 1990.

The volunteer chair of UBC's 2001 United Way Campaign, McCaughran led the effort that raised more than $450,000 -- an increase of more than 30 per cent from the previous year's total.

Her duties in the school include academic operations management, labour relations and personnel management. Colleagues describe her financial acumen as exceptional and say her contributions are marked by humanity and good sense.

Talent, technical skills and innovation are some of the characteristics that co-workers ascribe to Katriona MacDonald, director of Graduate Student Academic Services in the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

She oversees student enrolment and records and almost single-handedly developed an on-line admissions system and a web-based international manual for processing applications. In addition, she developed a best practices manual to guide advisors in assisting graduate students.

MacDonald is described as the voice of reason in a sea of rules and regulations and a walking encyclopedia of procedures. She plays a key role among administrators in the Canadian Association of Graduate Schools.

Students value her personalized attention and sincere concern for their welfare and say she leads not only by example but also with her heart.


Last reviewed 22-Sep-2006

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