2015 President’s Awards for Staff Recipients


(l-r) Des Lovrity, Brendan Morey, Gayle Kosh, Tracy Henderson, Darlene Birkenhead, Clark Lundeen, Pamela Lim, Fred Woo, Kevin Mo, Julia McLaughlin, Linda Ong, Julie Wagemakers, Denise Lauritano, Christine Offer, Daphne Ling, Kristin Sopotiuk

President’s Service Awards for Excellence

Every year, five UBC staff are awarded with the President’s Service Awards for Excellence

The President’s Service Award for Excellence is the top award presented to UBC Staff in recognition of excellence in personal achievements and contributions to UBC and to the vision and goals of the University.

Gayle Kosh, Graduate Programs Manager, Faculty of Forestry

Gayle Kosh, Graduate Program Manager for the Faculty of Forestry, is dedicated to Forestry’s graduate students. She is an ongoing source of support and guidance throughout student life. She knows the workings of the University inside out and backwards and can always find creative ways to get things done in the most efficient way to benefit students.

Students rave about Gayle’s supportive and helpful nature. She has taken a key role in supporting the Forestry Graduate Students Association, playing an instrumental role in ensuring that Forestry grad students are made to feel welcomed and respected at UBC. Gayle is a major reason why UBC can boast one of the strongest communities of forestry and conservation-focused graduate students in the world.

Gayle is an active volunteer in the local community and internationally, for causes related to animal welfare and conservation. She is a Positive Space volunteer, and a member of the Canoe Creek Community Kitchen.

Denise Lauritano, Executive Director, Office of the Associate-Provost Academic Innovation, Vice-President Academic

Denise Lauritano, Executive Director, Office of the Associate-Provost Academic Innovation, has made outstanding contributions to student services, program administration and strategy at UBC. Prior to her time at the Vice President Academic Office, Denise led the CFIS team that lowered barriers on inter-disciplinary research and learning. As a member of the Enrolment Services team, Denise helped connect the units to work together in addressing new students in a holistic, integrated manner.

The mark of a leader is to elevate the performance of those around them, and Denise works to ensure that her staff and colleagues have the resources and the opportunities to excel.

Denise has served as co-chair and chair of UBC’s Community United Way campaign. She expanded the role of students, bringing them to the steering committee for the first time, and making additional connections with students. Denise also volunteers with her daughter’s school’s Parent Advisory Committee, with AAPS, and with the University Neighbourhood Association.

Brendan Morey, Director, Graduate Awards and Development, Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies

Brendan Morey, Director of Graduate Awards and Development, has exemplified service, excellence and leadership throughout his fourteen years at the Faculty of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies. His knowledge of the scope and the details of scholarship and fellowship programs provides the information and tools faculty and students need to apply for a wide range of available funding opportunities.

Brendan focuses on leading his staff through team work and pride. He supports his team in furthering their skills and experience, and Brendan himself completed his master’s degree at Regent College in 2007 while working full time.

Brendan’s leadership is not just valued by his colleagues at UBC, but also with external funding organizations. He is frequently consulted by other Canadian universities, and has been asked by the Tri-Agencies to participate in national award harmonization planning.

Outside of work, Brendan is committed to supporting his community, as Director and Treasurer of the Salsbury Community Society. He is also Moderator of the Grandview Calvary Baptist Church.

Kristin Sopotiuk, Assistant to the Head, Department of Sociology, Faculty of Arts

Kristin Sopotiuk, Assistant to the Head in the Department of Sociology, has been key in making the department a harmonious and productive place for everyone. She not only excels in her role, but she goes beyond on a daily basis in ways that promote the wellbeing of others – students, staff, and faculty. To many, she lives the ideal of service to others.

Whether supporting faculty and students, or focusing on building and safety considerations, or the smooth functioning of the Department, Kristin is adept at coordinating the many moving puzzle pieces in the Sociology department.

In particular, Kristin’s support has been vital for the Sociology Student Association, to help them achieve their goals of building a strong undergraduate community and to connect students with faculty.

Her efficient, professional, and cordial communication skills have set the bar for many, and her creativity and care for the Sociology community continues to inspire everyone around her.

Fred Woo, Executive Assistant to the Vice President Research & International, Vice President Research & International

Fred Woo has been Executive Assistant to the Vice President Research and International since 2007. As the face of the VPRI Office, Fred stands out in his ability to connect with researchers, academics, and visiting delegates. He builds and maintains strong relationships with all levels of people at the University, and beyond.

Fred brings his coworkers together by fostering a sense of community within the VPRI office. His generosity and good nature are contagious, and he easily convinces others to be more giving. For four years he acted as the VPRI’s United Way portfolio representative. His effort in 2013 was particularly memorable, beginning with posters featuring Fred dressed in lederhosen to promote his stair climb and ending with an impressive 13 sets of Tower Beach stairs climbed.

Fred is one of the rare individuals whose talent to connect people can create a community with heart.

President’s Staff Awards

The President’s Staff Awards (Vancouver Campus) recognize the personal achievements and contributions of staff to UBC and to the vision and goals of the University.

The President’s Staff Awards recognize the vital role UBC‘s staff play in creating a globally influential university by bringing UBC’s Place and Promise commitments to life.

Awards are given in six categories: Emerging Leadership, Enhancing the UBC Experience, Creativity and Innovation, Leadership, Global Citizenship, and Advancing Diversity & Inclusion.

Emerging Leadership

Daphne Ling, Lab Manager, Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Lab, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine

Daphne Ling, Lab Manager in the Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Lab in the Department of Psychiatry, is a leader and mentor in the lab and in the community. She strives to make UBC a better workplace, leading by example. The students in her lab speak highly of Daphne as a leader and a mentor, always available to offer guidance and support.

Daphne actively seeks new opportunities for learning and for developing her leadership skills. She consistently looks for ways to contribute and to reach people, including through writing, blogging, and public talks. Her enthusiasm for her work is apparent, and she has been a co-author on several academic papers, chapters and presentations.

At UBC and beyond, Daphne is an engaged member of the community. Daphne is the “volunteer’s volunteer,”, with Imagine Day, the UBC Health Mentors Orientation, BC Women’s Hospital and Sunny Hill Health Centre.

Kevin Mo, Patrol Officer, Campus Security

Kevin Mo, Campus Security Patrol Officer at the Sauder School of Business, has shown outstanding initiative in supporting his colleagues and the UBC community. As a Patrol Officer, Kevin provides a high level of service to the campus community on a daily basis. In 2014, Kevin sought a secondment as the United Way Campaign Associate.

While with the United Way, Kevin created strong and lasting connections with many campus communities. Campaign volunteers enjoyed working with Kevin, and his leadership created a safe and welcoming place in the United Way office and within the many campaign teams.

Outside of UBC, Kevin volunteers with Scouts Canada and the Vancouver Police Department Kitsilano-Fairview Community Police Office. Kevin has spent numerous hours volunteering on and off campus to create positive change in his community and to enhance people’s lives.

Enhancing the UBC Experience

Darlene Birkenhead, Graduate Program Coordinator, Department of Microbiology & Immunology, Faculty of Science

Darlene Birkenhead, Graduate Program Coordinator, in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology, is a mentor, an advocate, and a rock of support for graduate students and faculty. She is always adding new innovations to the department’s programs to enrich the students’ experience at UBC.

As one example of her dedication to the students’ experience at UBC, Darlene has provided leadership in developing career evenings to show students that their degree in Microbiology & Immunology can lead to academic and non-academic careers, bringing in alumni to showcase their career paths and the array of options that are available upon graduation.

Darlene goes above and beyond to mentor students, providing advice on academic and personal issues, and always strives to find new opportunities for students to succeed.

Through all her innovations of enhancing mentorship opportunities and improving collegiality, Darlene significantly enriches the student experience at UBC.

Tracy Henderson, Senior Program Coordinator, Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Medicine

Tracy Henderson, Senior Program Coordinator, Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, is dedicated to enhancing the UBC experience through her work on curriculum design, recruiting program alumni as instructors and mentors, and in serving as a mentor herself.

Tracy’s contribution can be seen across the entire department. Two years ago, Tracy developed a master plan of all instructional requirements for the 23-month integrated professional curriculum. This generated a 4×4 foot poster, a masterpiece dubbed “Tracy’s scroll,” which is still in use today to ensure efficiency in planning instructional assignments and containing costs.

Tracy is truly the face of the department’s staff, and entire classes have been known to applaud Tracy when she enters a classroom. Students know they can turn to Tracy when they have a question. Cultivating these relationships is only possible with the devotion and commitment that Tracy shows to each student’s experience and wellbeing.

Creativity & Innovation

Des Lovrity, Supervisor, Mechanical Engineering Services, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science

As Supervisor for the Department of Chemistry’s Mechanical Engineering Services, Des Lovrity brings his creativity and knowledge to support the department’s unique needs in support of research. In working with Des’s team in the shop, students gain practical and useful knowledge that can’t be acquired in the classroom.

Two recent successful projects highlight Des’s ingenuity. In the first project, with help from his staff, Des designed and built a mobile research station to be deployed on Vancouver Island for a study on air quality and climate in a coastal marine environment. Everyone said that it would take over a year; Des and his team invented, built and tested the mobile research station in just a few months. A second project was in the creation of a new mass spectrometer, for which Des came up with a method to build the necessary parts at UBC, ensuring the project was a success.

Des’s creativity and innovation in his work ensures that researchers in Chemistry can continue to innovate and discover, supporting the goal of research excellence at UBC.

Christine Offer, Artistic Presenting Manager, Chan Centre for the Performing Arts

Four years ago, Christine Offer, Artistic Presenting Manager at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts, saw an opportunity to create events, such as pre-show talks, panels and films, connected with the Chan Centre main stage concert series. These Chan Centre Connects events provide opportunities for the UBC community to explore themes and issues relevant to the visiting artists and their performances.

She is particularly adept at working with faculty and providing a public platform for professors to share their research as it relates to the Chan Centre’s programming. Christine serves as mentor for students running Chan Centre Connects events, enabling UBC students to demonstrate their own leadership skills.

Through the Chan Centre Connects series, Christine has brought creative and innovative opportunities to UBC that have transformed the lives of students, faculty, and the community.


Pamela Lim, Assistant Dean and Director, Undergraduate Office, Sauder School of Business

Pamela Lim, Assistant Dean and Director for Undergraduate Programs in the Sauder School of Business, is dedicated to providing an outstanding academic experience for students, as well as providing leadership to her staff, students and alumni.

Pam sees UBC as more than a University, but as a community, a mindset that evident in the respectful and collaborative attitude towards students that she embodies. The spirit of collaboration she fosters creates a positive culture where people feel valued and take great pride in their work.

Two examples highlight Pam’s collaborative approach. In 2004, Pam implemented Sauder’s broad-based admission system, one of the first of its kind in Canada, while in 2014, Pam established a new vision for student orientation programing in Sauder.

At all times, Pam keeps the focus on the best interests of Sauder’s students, leading by example in building relationships and encouraging excellence across the University.

Julie Wagemakers, Deputy Director, Liu Institute for Global Issues

As Deputy Director of the Liu Institute for Global Issues, Julie Wagemakers has shown outstanding leadership in establishing the Liu Institute as a place of research excellence. Her energy and commitment are vital reasons for the Liu Institute’s success in connecting and working effectively with other units across campus, as well as external community and government partners. Julie provides leadership and oversight, and she manages and motivates her staff to achieve their highest potential.

Julie has the gift of supporting people with diverse talents, to work with a sense of collective purpose towards a common goal. One recent example of Julie’s leadership is the inception, shaping and implementation of the UBC Master of Public Policy and Global Affairs. Julie held the pen on the curriculum proposal through Board of Governors’ approval, building consensus and supporting the program across UBC at all levels.

The Liu Institute and UBC have benefited greatly from Julie’s dedication and leadership in the community.

Global Citizenship

Linda Ong, Director, Communications & Marketing, UBC Library

Linda Ong, Director, Communications & Marketing at UBC Library, exemplifies the ideals of global citizenship in her unwavering support of UBC and of the communications community of practice across British Columbia.

Starting in Human Resources, Linda focused on engaging faculty and staff through sharing the stories of the people who work at UBC. After joining the Library in 2010, Linda led the team that created award-winning campaigns to highlight the Library’s activities in the community.

Linda volunteers with the BC Chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators as Vice President of Professional & Career Development, bringing opportunities to communications professionals across the province. Linda is at her best as a mentor, providing guidance and encouragement, supporting people to take on new challenges and to reach new heights.

In a world where technology is changing every aspect of research, learning, and information sharing, Linda is focused on supporting UBC as an integral part of the community.

Advancing Diversity & Inclusion

Clark Lundeen, Assistant Principal, Green College

Clark Lundeen, Assistant Principal at Green College, has spent seven years supporting the residents of Green College in building a solid community of diverse individuals from around the world.

Clark supports the nurturing of Green College as an inclusive space, where residents are a valued and respected part of the community, and supported in the academic pursuits that brought them to UBC.

He is an excellent listener and brings both impartiality and empathy to individuals who seek his advice and his counsel. Clark’s door is always open: not a cliché but a fact as he helps Green College’s residents with all aspects of resident life. One of Clark’s initiatives was to create a peer mentoring program, and these “Green Lanterns” provide peer support and campus and community referrals to their fellow residents.

Clark works with colleagues across to enhance the community in Green College, as well as positions UBC as a safe and respectful place to learn.

Julia Mclaughlin, Coaching @UBC Team Lead, Department of Human Resources

Julia McLaughlin, Coaching@UBC Team Lead in Human Resources , is dedicated to helping UBC faculty and staff achieve their very best, all while building a respectful and sustainable community at UBC.

Julia moved to the newly created role of Respectful Environment Advisor in 2008 upon the launch of the Respectful Environment Statement, to lead awareness and educational support. She tackled the complex task of bringing together stakeholders to support staff and faculty while building on the mandate of respectful and collegial environment for staff, faculty and students. She found people to champion the Respectful Environment Statement, and challenged those in leadership roles to support respectful work environments.

In all of her roles, Julia freely shares her skills as a coach, facilitator, and leader. Julia uses her talents and values of inclusivity to bring together those with diverse perspectives, interests and backgrounds, and to use those skills to pursue their own goals and the goals of their teams.