We are pleased to announce the recipients of the President’s Service Awards for Excellence and the President’s Staff awards, presented by the university annually to recognize staff members who demonstrate outstanding achievement and excellence within the UBC community.
President’s Service Awards for Excellence
The President’s Service Award for Excellence is presented each year to up to five outstanding staff members. The PSAE acknowledges staff who have made outstanding contributions to UBC, and who excel in their personal achievements.
This year’s President’s Service Awards for Excellence recipients are:
- Andrew Arida, Associate Registrar & Director, Student Recruitment & Undergraduate Admissions, Enrolment Services
- Enid Ho, Administrative Assistant, Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and Interdisciplinary Studies Graduate Program
- Chiara Longhi, Director, Student Services, Faculty of Forestry
- Lynne Murchie, Associate Director, UBC Sauder Co-op Program
- Charles Shi, International Student Advisor RCIC, International Student Development
President’s Staff Awards
The President’s Staff Awards at the Vancouver campus recognize the personal achievements and contributions that our staff make to UBC, and to the vision and goals of the University.
This year’s President’s Staff Awards recipients are:
- Kari Marken, Educational Strategist, First Year Experience, Centre for Student Involvement & Careers
- Ido Roll, Senior Manager, Research and Evaluation, Centre for Teaching, Learning & Technology
- David Speight, Executive Chef & Culinary Director, UBC Food Services
- Winnie Cheung, Lab Manager, Department of Botany and Biodiversity Research Centre
Enhancing the UBC Experience
- Katja Clark, Associate Director, Student Communications Services
- Roland Genschorek, Bernhard Nimmervoll, and Erik Wilson, Technicians, Department of Mechanical Engineering Machine Shop
Creativity & Innovation
- Sam Fenn and Gordon Katic, Media Producers, Department of Political Science | Michael Smith Laboratories
- Grace Wong, Senior International Advisor, Office of the Provost and Vice President Academic
- Dylan Brown, Program Director, UBC Active Kids, School of Kinesiology
- Lindsay Marsh, Program and Communications Manager, School of Public Policy and Global Affairs
Advancing Diversity & Inclusion
- Alyssa Reyes, Intramural Events Coordinator, Athletics & Recreation
- Derick Chan (Finance Assistant), Liz Hudson (Inventory Manager), Harmony Johnson (Academic Sales Manager), and Alexa Love (Advertising and Promotions Manager), UBC Press
- Kathy Manson, Executive Coordinator and Program Administrator in the School of Kinesiology, Faculty of Education
President’s Service Awards for Excellence
Andrew Arida, Associate Registrar & Director, Student Recruitment & Undergraduate Admissions, Enrolment Services
Andrew Arida is dedicated to the advancement of recruitment and admissions policies and practices to enrich student experiences at UBC and across the country.
Andrew has improved the efficiency, transparency, and sustainability of UBC’s admissions practices. Under his leadership, his team helps faculties in achieving their recruitment and admission goals. UBC Enrolment Services is now regarded nationwide as a leader in using enrolment data, student performance data, and procedural metrics to draft policy and make more effective admissions decisions.
Under his direction the first Aboriginal student recruitment plan was developed and implemented, resulting in an increase of direct entry applications and admission for Aboriginal students. He cultivated the BC Counselor Advisory with representatives from across the province, and his evidence-based research on the International Baccalaureate Program informed admission policy across North America. Recently, Andrew and the admissions team created the new BC12 admission policy, a ground breaking policy in Canada that will foster student learning.
For his advocacy, leadership and service to the Canadian higher education community, Andrew is highly regarded by his colleagues across the country as an articulate and highly credible professional.
Enid Ho, Administrative Assistant, Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies | Interdisciplinary Studies Graduate Program
Enid Ho exemplifies excellence to service, compassion and a generosity of spirit that fosters continuity and rigour in a unit with wide-ranging programming and diverse cohorts of multi-disciplinary students.
Enid is regarded for her professionalism, extensive institutional knowledge, and warm personality. Whether improving internal processes and procedures or building connections with faculty from across the university, Enid is motivated to support others so they too can be successful in their work. To enhance the level of service offered to students and faculty in the department, Enid recently attracted funding in order to hire additional support staff.
Enid is an active community member. Within her unit, she is an ergonomics representative and wellbeing liaison. She leads local onboarding and orientation of new students and volunteers for events both in the department and across the university.
Enid makes a point of getting to know students and faculty personally and enhancing their experience in the program. She is mindful of vulnerable groups, such as international students, immigrants and those with invisible disabilities or those in need of expert counselling and advice. She anticipates unique student situations which might require leaves of absences or extensions of their programs – extending her warmth and compassionate when others need it most.
Chiara Longhi, Director, Student Services, Faculty of Forestry
Chiara Longhi approaches all aspects of supporting the student experience with drive, enthusiasm and vision.
As the Faculty of Forestry continues to grow, Chiara is committed to enhancing the student experience starting with getting to know students personally, facilitating connections within the community, and holding a focus on the mental health and wellbeing of students.
Chiara provides leadership and strategic direction for student services and fosters a positive environment for the increasing undergraduate student body. She continually motivates her team to maintain a top student services experience.
In addition to going the extra mile to build a welcoming community, Chiara creates abundant and rich opportunities for students. She has improved the offering of social, academic and professional events in the Faculty, and grew interest in the mentorship program by encouraging more mentees and mentors. Under her leadership, a new staff position was created to help connect students with volunteer, work and mentorship opportunities.
Chiara encourages students to become involved in all aspects of student life, and leads by example by volunteering her personal time for a variety of campus events and committees that aim to improve the student experience, whether through the implementation of new technology and systems, fundraising, or special ceremonies.
Lynne Murchie, Associate Director, UBC Sauder Co-op Program
Lynne Murchie is a relationship-builder and an unwavering advocate for enriching students’ experience at UBC as well as their prospects upon graduation.
For over 16 years at the Sauder School, Lynne has shaped the experience students in the Sauder Co-op Program. She is a driver of program improvements, including significant updates to service-delivery, increasing the offering of work-term placements, and developing richer evaluation metrics for all events and workshops. She is a leading member of the Equity Committee, which is developing a series of guides to help students with diverse backgrounds and identities navigate challenges in the labour market.
Lynne is an advocate for positioning not only Sauder students as attractive hires but elevating the reputation of UBC students as a whole. Bringing together all faculties with co-op programs, Lynne is an active member of the UBC Co-op Council. This partnership has led to increased events, employer connections and job opportunities for all students, not one faculty over another.
Lynne challenges and empowers those around her to provide an elevated level of service. She coaches students through successes and challenges, and leads tough conversations with employers to ensure students get the most out of their work terms. She is instrumental in the growth and development of students, staff and employers that have made the program what it is today.
Charles Shi, International Student Advisor RCIC, International Student Development
Charles Shi is an advocate, educator, mentor, and agent of positive change for international students.
As an International Student Advisor, Charles’ expertise and leadership helps students navigate the complexities of immigration policy and regulation. He is a highly respected and sought-after advisor by students, staff and faculty alike.
Charles was one of the earliest advocates for ensuring students with complex cases be handled in a coordinated, holistic manner by convening a team from across a range of service units. This practice is now a standard of care at UBC.
In 2014, immigration advising became a federally regulated activity and Charles became one of the first Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants working at a Canadian postsecondary institution. He served as a thought leader as the university navigated many ethical and regulatory challenges.
Frequently called upon to support Chinese international students in distress and their families, Charles is generous with his skills as an interpreter, both of language and of cultural context, giving voice to students and families and helping them make sense of the complexities of life in Canada and at UBC.
Charles is a champion for increasing quality of student life and participation at UBC. Open to the struggles unique to international students, Charles creates an inclusive space for them, and helps students develop their sense of agency in shaping their lives at UBC and beyond.
President’s Staff Awards
Kari Marken, Educational Strategist, First Year Experience, Centre for Student Involvement & Careers
Kari Marken merges her strategist and teaching experience with her creative background in drama, theatre, and design, in order to lead innovative student and faculty experiences.
Her leadership, innovation and creativity are the heart of her success in introducing thousands of students from diverse backgrounds to academic life every year at UBC. Through her guidance, UBC Jump Start has grown to serve all undergraduate students (international and domestic, residence and commuter) as the Vancouver campus’ official first-year student orientation.
As an animator of learning spaces, Kari understands how performed narratives—carefully crafted stories told at the right time in the right place by the right person to an audience—can shift a young adult’s scholarly imagination and increase their capacity to thrive in university.
Her artistic direction of the Jump Start Opening Ceremonies for thousands of incoming first-year students and many members of the community, sets expectations for thoughtful, high-quality engagement from day one in campus life.
Kari has led the charge on co-designing and co-developing first year transition strategies and programs that not only provide faculty with rich campus experiences but also to facilitate strong connections with students in a safe and welcoming environment. Her vision, collaboration, and enthusiasm have shaped what the student experience and enriched the work life of faculty involved in these projects.
Ido Roll, Senior Manager, Research and Evaluation, Centre for Teaching, Learning & Technology
Ido Roll is recognized as a leader, a mentor, and an innovator. Actively engaged in a range of academic research across UBC, he is regarded as a visionary in the field of learning analytics.
Ido’s ability to problem solve complex challenges results in increased efficiency and more vibrant, improved teaching and learning experiences, and sustainable practices for the university.
Ido has transformed the Institute for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in unprecedented ways, to provide training to faculty from diverse disciplines and appointments, and offer substantial consultation and support for research. His mentorship is critical to the professional and personal development of the community of scholars in the program. Ido’s leadership style breaks down barriers between students, faculty, disciplines, and silos that exist within the university. Ido gets people talking, co-teaching, and collaborating – and in the process, he brings a level of support, respect, and mentorship that helps everyone to succeed.
Ido inspires educators across campus to explore and develop their practice. His attentiveness and caring, combined with his valuable problem-solving skills and creativity, make him an effective teacher and a compassionate mentor.
David Speight, Executive Chef & Culinary Director, UBC Food Services
David Speight is an extraordinary chef who strikes the perfect balance between artistic creativity and crowd-pleasing flavours and ingredients. David’s passion for food is rivaled only by his dedication to health, wellbeing, and sustainability at UBC and in the community.
Recently, David was a key leader in creating an ambitious guiding framework for UBC Food Services. The framework will focus on how students, faculty, staff, and visitors can access a diverse selection of fresh, delicious, and memorable food experiences in a socially and ecologically conscious manner. David partners with local organizations and farms to bring in locally grown food, to use Fair Trade and Ocean-Wise seafood, and to decrease costs and food waste at the same time.
To attract outstanding culinary staff in a highly competitive market, David became the architect of UBC’s Culinary Apprenticeship Program, which now has nine chefs starting the three-year accreditation program.
Students also benefit from David’s leadership of numerous SEEDS Sustainability Program projects. He works with project teams from Sauder’s graduate and undergraduate programs and consults with students within the Faculty of Land and Food Systems and Food Nutrition and Health on work throughout the year.
David’s leadership is demonstrated in his work, inspiring his colleagues, students, and faculty to join him in addressing health, wellbeing and sustainability issues through the need and love of food.
Winnie Cheung, Lab Manager, Department of Botany and Biodiversity Research Centre
Winnie Cheung demonstrates her commitment to the wellbeing and success of her community, and sets an example for building a respective and collaborative workplace. She works hard to create a sense of unity in the lab and more generally with everyone within the Biodiversity Research Centre (BRC) and Botany Department. She understands that a happy, safe and respectful environment will let everyone in the lab bring out their best work.
As lab manager, Winnie has built a supportive and respectful environment, where researchers, lab technicians, students and postdocs can thrive, especially those who are new to Vancouver and to Canada.
She takes initiative to help students navigate challenges and meet deadlines, even volunteering to support with field research collection. When lab members are overseas Winnie continues to keep in contact and ongoing support to ensure their projects remain on track. Recently, when a couple of lab members were injured in an earthquake overseas, Winnie facilitated contact with the Canadian embassy to ensure their safe return.
Outside of the lab, Winnie pursues professional development for leadership and management skills, with which she is streamlining processes and developing resources for administrators in the department.
Enhancing the UBC Experience
Katja Clark, Associate Director, Student Communications Services
Katja Clark is an outstanding leader who empowers others to lead by example, and is passionate about improving the student experience.
Katja is passionate about enhancing the digital experience of students at UBC. She truly believes that for a system, service, or resource to be successful, one must always consider the needs and interests of the user. Even while working in a predominantly non-student-facing role in the early years of her UBC employment, Katja strived to bring the students’ voice in many of the decisions within her unit. She spearheaded research studies to explore students’ attitudes, behaviours and understanding of various topics, such as wellness and money management, to improve resources on campus.
Her work on the students.ubc.ca website helps students navigate almost all areas of their academic and co-curricular experiences at UBC, from registration help and immigration advising, to connecting them to international and community experiences, and invitations into campus life. Katja’s work, leadership, and committed focus has helped hundreds of thousands of students over the last decade as they engage with the university.
Katja inspires others to seek professional growth and enriching experiences. She is determined to help colleagues advance in their careers, encouraging and supporting them in their professional development pursuits.
Roland Genschorek (Technician, Machine Shop), Bernhard Nimmervoll (Technician, Mechatronics), and Erik Wilson (Technician, Laboratory), Department of Mechanical Engineering Machine Shop
With more than fifty years of service at UBC between them, Roland Genschorek, Bernhard “Benny” Nimmervoll, and Erik Wilson have made outstanding contributions to the Department of Mechanical Engineering, create an engaging, supportive experiential learning environment.
The MECH machine shop staff build student learning opportunities into every facet of their operations, and take the time to work with each user to help them learn not only how to do something, but why it is done that way. The team is well known as facilitators of research, teaching, and innovation. Benny, Roland, and Erik build student learning opportunities into every facet of their operations, from supporting physical laboratory courses and designing courses run at all year levels to collaborating with faculty in developing new labs. The group provides mentorship and individualized support to students, and help students connect their experiences in the shop to engineering decisions.
The Machine Shop team’s passion for furthering the student experience is evident through a number of innovations, including the creation of educational videos and an online calendar and job submission system to streamline operations and enable a level of service beyond what was previously possible, as well as improving safety features and integrating sustainability practices.
Creativity & Innovation
Sam Fenn (Media Producer) and Gordon Katic (Media Producer), Department of Political Science | Michael Smith Laboratories
Together, Sam Fenn and Gordon Katic co-host and produce Cited, an award-winning, syndicated, long-form radio podcast series. Telling compelling stories about academic research, the podcast makes research accessible to large and diverse audiences.
Gordon and Sam have shown exceptional ability and passion in breaking down barriers separating researchers from the public in this innovative new format of community-engaged journalism.
Unlike traditional research-outreach initiatives, Gordon and Sam have taken an innovative approach in their collaboration with students, scholars, and major media organizations to co-create their episodes. This unique production model offers a new path for knowledge mobilization, public policy communications, and partnership between researchers and journalists.
From funding to journalistic independence, any challenges facing the podcast were addressed by the team with a high level of creativity. The team created new editorial and ethical guidelines allowing the collaborative model of journalism to flourish and formed new partnerships with other organizations to expand their reach.
Cited’s popularity and critical acclaim in the media and knowledge mobilization circles signals a possible way forward for UBC and for other universities to share research and enrich public discourse.
Grace Wong, Senior International Advisor, Office of the Provost and Vice President Academic
Grace Wong is a pioneer of the university’s international activities and continues to be a driver for academic initiatives in China and across Asia.
Motivated to position UBC as a global leader, Grace formed collaborations across academia, government, and business and helped establish executive education and training in China in the early 1980s. This set the stage for UBC’s Sauder School of Business to be a leader in the development and delivery of executive training. Grace pioneered the development of undergraduate, masters, and executive programs in Asia, including the International MBA program in Shanghai, and facilitated teaching and research opportunities in the region.
Her leadership and out-of-the-box problem solving is recognized for having a profound impact on advancing the Sauder School of Business’ engagement and services for students and alumni, both domestically and internationally. She has also supported programs, such as the Ritsumeikan-UBC exchange program and the Vancouver Summer Program, bringing together faculties and collaborating with global networks to grow participation in the programs exponentially.
She also brings this collaborative engagement approach to her colleagues; in 2014, Grace was part of the group that wanted to change how campus spaces can be used to build community among staff. The monthly Hot Lunch event at St. John’s College brings together staff and fosters connection with the university executives.
Dylan Brown, Program Director, UBC Active Kids, School of Kinesiology
Dylan Brown is a role model in his department- as well as in local and national communities – for his unparalleled level of commitment to improving general health and physical literacy.
Dylan has elevated a number of Kinesiology’s program to engage with new communities, focusing on increasing quality of life, health, and wellbeing through physical activity participation and social connection, in particular for children and youth. As just one example, in 2015, Dylan partnered with the Musqueam Band to develop a physical literacy program for parents and their young children. He has also brought the successful gymnastics program Active Kids to new communities in Vancouver, helping families find affordable ways to spend quality time together.
Dylan’s efforts have had a positive impact on the communities themselves, but also on the UBC student community, who have been able to partake in hundreds of experiential learning opportunities. Dylan ensures that the faculty, staff and students in Kinesiology have the opportunity to engage, support and be involved in community events at UBC and across Vancouver.
For nearly a decade, Dylan has been a key volunteer with National Blind Hockey, as a coach, sighted guide, referee, fundraiser, and event coordinator. As a result of his impact in raising the profile of the sport in North America, the national organization hopes to have the sport included in the 2026 Paralympics.
Lindsay Marsh, Program and Communications Manager, School of Public Policy and Global Affairs
Lindsay Marsh embodies the work that the Policy School does to create global change-makers.
Lindsay encourages faculty to think big and design impactful events, and works dynamically with volunteers and students to deliver quality programming, symposia and community events to audiences.
When the Policy School was being formed, Lindsay met with key stakeholders from each unit, as well as across UBC and within the community, always modelling the importance of engaging a diverse range of stakeholders in order for the new School to become an expansive hub for policy and practice at UBC.
Lindsay also connects with the broader community to offer policy and innovation events beyond UBC. She held a critical role in founding the Refugee Symposium, and supported the Refugee & Migration Working Group, an interdisciplinary group of community members, policy-makers, researchers, settlement agencies, students, and refugees to tackle issues facing refugees in the research and learning communities.
Lindsay works tirelessly to nurture a healthy workplace environment, often volunteering to lead programs that bring our community together, such as bird watching events or serving as a Positive Space Resource Person. She has served on UBC’s United Way Steering Committee, and mentors students and coaches community members.
Advancing Diversity & Inclusion
Alyssa Reyes, Intramural Events Coordinator, Athletics & Recreation
Alyssa Reyes is committed to equity, inclusion, and accessibility in sport. Recognizing that the traditions and culture of sport have historically marginalized many populations, Alyssa is a champion of equity and inclusion driving change to enable opportunities for everyone in the UBC community to experience an active university life.
Alyssa takes initiative to learn about intercultural strategies and inclusion principles and practices, and applies these practices in her work. In her management of intramurals and other events, including the iconic Storm the Wall event, Alyssa influences the training of staff as well as over 300 student leaders. She has been a driving force in creating new training modules to ensure the department is building a respectful environment and inclusive communities.
Alyssa recently shifted how the intramural program considers gender identity through its participation structures. From registration systems to staff and volunteer training, she rebuilt the participation structure with a focus on inclusivity and accessibility for all genders, to create a space in which everyone can find a place.
Alyssa’s work exemplifies her commitment to removing barriers and creating inclusive and respectful communities. Her example is one not only admired by colleagues and community partners at UBC, but is also seen across Canada as an example for other institutions to emulate.
Derick Chan (Finance Assistant), Liz Hudson (Inventory Manager), Harmony Johnson (Academic Sales Manager), and Alexa Love (Advertising and Promotions Manager), UBC Press
At UBC Press, Derick Chan, Liz Hudson, Harmony Johnson, and Alexa Love are committed to making their workplace a healthy, safe, and supportive place for all. They go above and beyond to promote social, physical and mental health and wellbeing for staff: from leading their local health and safety committee to encouraging colleagues to participate in existing initiatives, such as the 30-Day Mindfulness Challenge, Pick Your Peak Stair Challenge and Sports Day.
The group also organizes presentations and workshops to increase awareness of existing health and wellbeing resources at the university, such as the Employee and Family Assistance Program, workplace ergonomics, and cardiac emergency first-aid. As well, they organize healthy potluck lunches – not only to encourage colleagues/staff to recognize that healthy lunch options are achievable, but also to build community and connections across the three units within UBC Press.
Recently, Liz, Derick, Harmony and Alexa secured a grant for an office bike to encourage on-campus active transportation and exercise. To ensure the initiative was inclusive for riders of all skill levels, the group provided a workshop on basic bike mechanics which also addressed safety concerns for biking on and off campus.
Kathy Manson, Executive Coordinator and Program Administrator in the School of Kinesiology, Faculty of Education
Kathy Manson is a role model for the students, staff and faculty she interacts with every day. As the ‘go-to’ person for many, Kathy approaches challenges with a supportive, motivating and positive attitude.
Kathy helps others in the department overcome obstacles with empathy and compassion. Whether advocating for the voices of women researchers, instructors, and junior academics to support them in being heard, or providing encouragement to international students who are working through immigration paperwork, Kathy’s collaborative approach creates a welcoming environment and inspires others to care for themselves and each other in the workplace.
Kathy is seen as a role model for how she integrates physical activity throughout her work day, for her active participation in the School’s outreach programs (BodyWorks Fitness Centre), and for her involvement in community-based activities, such as dragon boat racing. She invites all students, faculty and staff to join and participate, regardless of their skill or fitness levels.
Kathy has led several wellbeing initiatives in the department, including ‘KINnections’, a series of social gatherings that enable faculty and graduate students to connect from eight sites and build community. Within the KIN Bicycle Club, Kathy saw an opportunity to build comradery among faculty, staff and students by designing and procuring matching shorts and jerseys. The apparel, branded with the School’s colours, was an instant success and can be seen all over Vancouver.
Learn more about Staff Awards at UBC at http://www.focusonpeople.ubc.ca/awards/