Awards of Excellence For Support Staff 2010 Recipients

President's Award Recipient


Maggie Duncan
Equity Services

Maggie has worked tirelessly to support a respectful work and learning environment at the university. Her contributions often go unnoticed publicly because much of her work is done in confidence. She advises individuals experiencing challenging situations and has had great impact on those that she has coached.

Maggie often works with people experiencing difficult emotions and complex issues: she is always calm and professional and encourages individuals to look at matters more objectively. Maggie is humble, sincere, caring, and able to bring out the best in people. Her empathetic approach enables individuals to consider multiple perspectives and to find solutions. This often resolves situations informally in respectful ways that strengthen relationships.  Her workload is heavy and she has saved the University countless hours and dollars by preventing the escalation of disputes. Maggie has previously been recognized with a Outreach Award (2005), and has served as the president of the Canadian Association for the Prevention of Discrimination and Harassment, and as board chair for Reaching E-Quality Employment Services (REES).

Leadership Award Recipient 

Arti Paul

Aarti Paul
Dean’s Office, Faculty of Medicine

Aarti leads a team of information technologists at the Faculty of Medicine. Under her leadership, her team has shown innovation and resourcefulness in conquering the many challenges faced in operating such projects as the Clinical Learning and Simulation Facility, OPAL, and Cabling Upgrades. Aarti is able to understand the academic needs, to translate them into technical systems, and then to lead her team to support them effectively. She does this with grace and poise and her contributions have been essential for the faculty’s success.


Tina Riggs
University 1

Tina is responsible for the largest event on the Fort Garry campus, U1 Orientation, providing the welcoming face of the university to first year students each September. Tina and the staff recruit, train, and manage over 400 volunteers. She leads the team with commitment, patience, perseverance, flexibility, and tact. She focuses on the student experience regardless of the ongoing challenges, collaborating with other departments to achieve the best possible two-day experience for students, who leave the orientation with a sense of the University and all it can offer.

Service Award Recipients

 Sol Chu

Sol Chu
IST Training Centre/Learning Management

Sol goes above and beyond to provide a high level of service that allows instructors and researchers to use systems like Angel, safe in the knowledge that he will be there to support them as they work to enhance the learning experience of students. Sol’s support for Web CT and Angel is always fast and effective. He adopts language that is easily understood by those he assists. As a result Sol’s outstanding service contributions are instrumental in promoting the use of technology in teaching throughout the university community.


 Tom Deakin

Tom Deakin
South Zone Caretaking, Physical Plant

Tom works in the Frank Kennedy, Continuing Education, and Agriculture Lecture Block buildings. His friendly and helpful service has made him an important part of life there. He is diligent, thoughtful, and dependable and is quick to offer extra help when needed. As one of his letters of support stated, “Tom is a treasure and a real asset to our office…and should we ever need to move we would want to take him with us”.


Erwin Dirks
Electrical & Computer Engineering

Over the years, the Power and Energy Research Group has acquired a reputation as one of Canada’s finest. This educational program exists chiefly due to Erwin’s hard work and his cheerful and caring attitude. His fertile mind is always looking for new possibilities for the lab and he is constantly mentoring international students and helping them adapt to life in Canada.  Because of his many contributions, Erwin is an indispensible asset to his department and faculty.

 Henry Kunkel

Henry Kunkel
Department of Physics & Astronomy

Henry is a noted for his dedication and effort, ensuring that the labs function smoothly. He also assists and instructs the teaching assistants in their teaching duties. Henry has volunteered his assistance in the outreach program with Lanzhou University in China. In each of the six years of the project, he donated a month of his summer vacation. He played a central role in upgrading that institution’s labs, and thus had a huge impact on the faculty and students at Lanzhou.

Allan McKay

Allan McKay
Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering

Allan is highly respected in the Engineering Faculty by both students and staff and is the “go to” person in the department. Many go to him for advice and support, both of which he gives in a non-judgmental and wise way. He is continually striving to develop processes that will improve things. He leads by example and is always on the forefront of whatever needs to be done.  His enthusiasm and dedication to the department’s goals manifests itself in the tremendous contribution he makes to the researchers, students, and to the department’s reputation.

Eleanor Reimer

Eleanor Reimer
Architecture/Fine Arts Library

Eleanor has consistently provided a top level of service to library patrons, particularly students, and has been a role model for her co-workers. She goes to great lengths to work with individuals going through tough times. She is the “go-to” person for questions related to circulation for the library’s patrons, many of whom she knows by name. Over her career Eleanor has taken on a number of projects to improve the services at both the Music and Architecture libraries. She is viewed as a leader among her colleagues and exemplifies the best of the service culture that exists at the libraries.

Team Award Recipients

 Aboriginal Student Centre Staff

The Aboriginal Student Centre Staff

The staff members of the Aboriginal Student Centre provide cultural and personal support to all students of the U of M, regardless of origin. Students are always welcomed by a friendly and family-like atmosphere. Their support services have evolved into resources that include student counseling, writing tutor support, and an Elder-in-Residence. Most importantly, their positive outlook on students’ abilities and their compassionate outreach make the ASC a place where students can go not only for help, but also where they can be themselves and be treated with respect. The team also share their caring and knowledge with others in the U of M community and their overall impact is truly significant.

Psychology SST

Psychology Support Staff Team

Under normal circumstances this very effective team is capable of outstanding work; this year their effectiveness has been astonishing given the circumstances. The Duff Roblin fire sent the members of the Psychology Department scattered across the campus to whatever space was available. In the immediate aftermath of the fire, the support team kicked into action to help bring the department back to life almost from scratch. All psychology classes were completed successfully in the winter term of 2009 - this is a testament to the Herculean efforts of the support staff. The fire has created once-in-a-career challenges to every member of the Psychology Department. That these challenges have been overcome and a near-normal research and teaching environment established is a testament to the collegiality, professionalism, generosity of spirit, and selflessness of the Psychology Support Staff Team.