PSAE winners are (L-R): Ian Burgess, Leeta Sokalski, Samson Cheung, Bridget Hamilton and Glen Peterson (not shown) - photo by Darin Dueck
UBC Reports | Vol. 53 | No. 5 | May 3, 2007
Staff Members Receive President’s Service Award for Excellence
By Basil Waugh
Five members of the university community are being recognized for outstanding contributions to campus life as recipients of the 2007 President’s Service Award for Excellence (PSAE).
This year’s winners are Ian Burgess, Director of the CFI/BCKDF Resource Office; Samson Cheung, Land and Building Services Head Service Worker; Bridget Hamilton, a receptionist in the Dept. of Astronomy and Physics; Glen Peterson, Professor of History, and Leeta Sokalski, Library Circulation and Office Manager.
Each recipient will receive a gold medal and $5,000 in a presentation during Spring Congregation. This year’s awards are the first to be presented by new UBC President Stephen J. Toope.
For the past seven years, Ian Burgess has played a crucial role in helping UBC scientists secure $216 million in research funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) and the British Columbia Knowledge Development Fund (BCKDF), more than any other Canadian university.
UBC researchers say the skill, leadership and dedication that Burgess brings to each application has been essential to the university’s success in attracting national and provincial funding. Burgess is a 23-year employee of UBC.
Samson Cheung is responsible for the cleanliness of some of UBC’s busiest buildings, including the Life Sciences Centre and Woodward IRC.
A 26-year employee, Cheung has a knack for customer service and addressing building issues and special requests. He assists in physical preparations for high profile university events, including graduation and exams. Cheung is also known for selling the most tickets each year to Land and Building Services’ annual United Way Barbecue.
Each week in the Astronomy and Physics department, Bridget Hamilton fields calls and visits related to everything from UFOs to the origin of the universe -- and she is renowned among colleagues for her ability to deal with these often eccentric inquires.
Hamilton, a UBC employee for 18 years, has a close relationship with faculty, staff and students and is a fixture at research seminars, graduate receptions and departmental social events.
During his 14 years at UBC, History Prof. Glen Peterson has inspired scores of Canadian and international student leaders as a volunteer faculty advisor to the UBC chapter of the World University Service of Canada (WUSC).
Peterson, an expert on modern China and the Chinese diaspora, has build a support system for students who come from war-torn countries to attend WUSC-UBC’s summer internship program. Since 1994, he has helped these students through the often difficult adjustment to life in a new country and nurtured their personal, academic and professional success.
Leeta Sokalski, Circulation and Office Manager of UBC’s Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, has developed a reputation for being able to handle big jobs during her 31 years at UBC.
Most recently, Sokalski lead the transfer of 800,000 library items into the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre’s Automatic Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS), the first of robotic retrieval system of its kind in Canada. Previously, she led the addition of anti-theft tapes to the library’s collection and the conversion of the library’s catalogue system from manual to online.