University of Manitoba - Human Resources - Learning and Organizational Development - Awards of Excellence For Support Staff 2006 Recipients
Awards of Excellence For Support Staff 2006 Recipients

President's Award Recipients

Linda Chartier
Faculty of Dentistry

One of the people writing in support of Linda Chartier’s nomination observed that much of her success is that she is able to keep “an open mind to new ideas and [is] able to successfully execute and implement new initiatives, with limited resources. Chartier has the gift of being both a thinker and a doer.” Another said that Chartier, through her work in the Faculty of Dentistry, “has sought ways to ensure that high quality service is provided to students, staff and faculty in the classroom, the laboratory and the clinics. She has been a key partner to Dean Johann de Vries in the implementation of his vision for dental education and community service in Manitoba.” Chartier is well-known as someone who is willing to share her insights and expertise with others. Chartier joined the university staff in 1970 as a library assistant and was later promoted to library supervisor. She served in the Libraries until 1987, when she became Executive Assistant to the Dean of the Faculty of Science. After 12 years, Chartier joined the Faculty of Dentistry, where she continues to serve as a member of its senior administrative team. Within the University, Chartier has represented the support staff on the Board of Governors, served as a member of the President’s Budget Advisory Committee and the President’s Strategic Planning Committee, as well as serving on collective bargaining, decanal selection and endowment fund committees. In addition, Chartier is the Canadian Director of the American Dental Education Association’s business and financial administration section,  she was a board member of the Campus Daycare Centre, and was president and secretary of the Friends of the University Field Station (Delta Marsh).

Chartier earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Guelph. During her years at the University of Manitoba, Chartier also completed the University Management course and the Certificate in University Management.


Natalie Denesovych
Special Functions

Natalie has been contributing to the University in various positions for almost 40 years. Her nomination contained many glowing letters that talk about the difference that she has made for the university community. “Natalie embodies the spirit of the university with her approach to her job, her customers, and colleagues. Always cheerful, and full of humour, Natalie is a skilled professional who is always looking for that new element to perfect a task or add an extra spark to an event. Her personal goals are perfection and excellence.” Natalie’s first position with the university was in 1967, when she held a position in the Residences. Since then she has held numerous positions with the University and has developed an extensive knowledge of our institution, its facilities and resources. To many external communities, Natalie is the face of the University. She has helped many an event organizer over the span of her career. In a letter of support, one event organizer stated “When I first agreed to organize the event the task seemed daunting. However, my confidence grew almost immediately after I met Natalie. With her accumulated experience and knowledge she is able to meet almost any challenge. If someone said it couldn’t be done Natalie would rise to the challenge and find a creative solution.” Natalie often goes above and beyond by taking on roles in major projects like the 1999 Pan American Games and the 2004 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences. Natalie has been tireless in her efforts to promote the goals of the University and enhance its reputation. She has been innovative in her approach and is widely respected for her “collaborative approach to her responsibilities”.  In addition to her work a the University Natalie serves as the Honourary Consul for Norway in Manitoba.


Leadership Award Recipient

Caron Bueckert              
Faculty of Physical Education & Recreation Studies

Caron has been an instrumental member of the Middle Managers group, providing leadership and counsel about the many administrative and financial issues the group faces. During the VIP and Financial system changes, Caron used her expertise and knowledge to bring about improvements and relieved many of the tensions that arose in the Middle Managers group during this challenging time. Some of the quotes from the various group members reveal just what an impact Caron has had: "Many of us would not have made it through the year without her". "She has truly led our middle managers team through the white waters of change." The Middle Managers group is just one of many groups and committees that Caron has contributed to over the years. She has also been a member of  the EMAPs Committee,  the Staff Benefits Committee, the Budget Advisory Committee and the Financial Information Management System Committee, to name but a few.

In the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation Studies, Caron has taken an active role in guiding the Faculty through some very challenging times. "It was Caron who designed a budget planning process that is respectful, accountable and productive." "She has turned what was once, by all reports, a dynamically adversarial budget planning process into one that results in a shared vision and commitment to our collective mission".  The contribution that Caron has made has been felt both in her Faculty and throughout the campus. The Awards Selection Committee joins with Caron's colleagues in recognizing the leadership that she has shown while working to further the goals and objectives of the University.


Service Award Recipients

Robbin Watson

Faculty of Architecture


In her role, Robbin has consistently provided extraordinary and exceptional service. She regularly takes on new, challenging projects that play a critical role in the Architecture Faculty. This year, she was involved in coordinating several elements of the Russell Building renovation. “Above and beyond her job description, she has been paramount in organizing the relocation of faculty, staff and students, organizing movers, acting as construction/design liaison for the Faculty and generally performing as the in-house peace keeper.”

Robbin’s contributions to the Faculty are best summed up by Dean Witty: “I cannot over-emphasize the important role that Robbin has in the Faculty. She consistently provides helpful and welcoming assistance whenever asked. Her open door policy gives faculty, students, staff and sessionals a sense of ease. During my 30 years in private practice, I have never met anyone in a similar position who has approached her work with such professionalism, collegiality and service orientation.” The Awards Selection Committee joins with Dean Witty and the Architecture Faculty in celebrating Robbin’s contribution to the University and its community.


Susan Leeson
Faculty of Music

The critical role that Susan plays in the Faculty of Music was made clear by Professor J.E. Cooper (Interim Dean) in her letter of support: “Susan is the heart and soul of the undergraduate and graduate programs of the Faculty of Music. She is devoted to each and every student and serves them not just as the Faculty Registrar, but as a sensitive and sensible counselor, providing guidance and helping students make decisions about their programs....Susan is able to anticipate problems for which she always has a remedy. She actively seeks ways to improve the activities and processes of the Faculty as well as her own job elements.” Other letters of support further reveal her importance to the Faculty: “She is the treasure in our Faculty”, “I cannot imagine a Faculty of Music without Susan Leeson”, “Susan sets a tone of patience and mutual respect in the work environment that is appreciated by all those with whom she comes in contact.”

Susan’s office is covered with marriage and birth announcements from past students who have stayed in touch with her over the years. This, in a real way, shows the kind of impact that Susan has had. The Awards Selection Committee joins with the Faculty of Music in celebrating Susan’s contribution to the University’s community.

Dianne Bulback
RESOLVE Research Centre

Dianne’s nomination clearly showed what an impact she has had as the “Administrative Center” for RESOLVE: “Dianne’s quiet, calm and competent demeanor steered us through some very tense times. Her generous, hard working and cheerful approach to colleagues, community and staff has been an essential component to our success in the past ten years.” “The demands on Dianne’s talents and time are considerable and she has met these demands with incredible competence, efficiency and grace.” Many of the letters of support focused on the quality of Dianne’s service: “With her sense of responsibility, one always feels secure when Dianne is handling a task”. Other letters focused on her warm, friendly and helpful attitude to all members of RESOLVE’s diverse community of researchers, service providers and policy makers: “She works with everyone in the same warmhearted manner, whether she is dealing with University Vice-Presidents, government officials, a confused student or an academic.” The Awards Selection Committee agrees that Dianne’s commitment to service has had a powerful impact on the diverse community that makes up RESOLVE and the important work that they do.


Team Award Recipients

Canola/Rapeseed Cultivar Development Team
Plant Science

The Canola/Rapeseed Cultivar Development Team (CRCDT) has seven support staff members who have worked with a number of academics over the last 20 years. The team has developed numerous new canola/rapeseed cultivars. The farm gate value of the production of these cultivars in the last 20 years has exceeded $1 billion. This contribution has helped to sustain and expand the productivity of the oilseed industry in western Canada. The CRCDT has worked effectively with several private sector and public sector organizations. The team has also acted as a training ground for approximately 100 summer students over the last 20 years and the team has also technically trained over 120 graduate students in essential R&D skills. Individual members of the CRCDT have expertise in areas that blend together to accomplish the grand objective of the team. Members share ideas and work collaboratively for the team’s common objective. Team members encourage one another to further the goals of the group. Part of the team’s success comes about because they have established an environment that is respectful. This is not to say that there have not been challenging times for individuals in the team, but rather that interpersonal issues that have arisen have been dealt with fairly and quickly, to ensure that the extraordinary productivity of the team has been maintained. The work of the CRCDT has enabled the University to maintain its position as a world leader in the development of unique oil quality cultivars. Congratulations to the team and each of its members as they continue to push the boundaries of this interesting field.

Some of the almost 170 members of the Flood Protection Team

Flood Protection Team
Physical Plant

The Flood Protection Team is made up of support staff who are involved in protecting the Fort Garry Campus from flooding. This team monitors water levels and acts to deal with any issues as they arise. This could involve maintaining electrical plumbing systems, sandbagging or building other structures to protect the campus. When the campus is at risk, this team makes itself available 24/7.  In protecting the campus, this team often works under pressure. Nevertheless, the team works well together, with dedication to a common cause, drawing together skills, ideas and resources to make things happen. Many of the supporting letters talk about the extraordinary commitment of the team and their professional attitude. The Fort Garry Campus has had a long history of flooding issues. This challenge is met year after year by this team. The Awards Selection Committee joins with the rest of the University community in recognizing this dedicated team, whose work is essential in ensuring that the University can continue to fulfill its mission even when the risk of flooding is eminent.