This year, we are highlighting recipients of the President’s Service Awards for Excellence and the President’s Staff Awards (Vancouver campus), focusing on what their awards mean to them, as well as how they bring recognition to the workplace.
This week’s profile features Denise Lauritano (Executive Director, Office of the Associate-Provost Academic Innovation, VPA) and Fred Woo (Executive Assistant to the Vice President Research & International, VPRI), both of whom received a President’s Service Award for Excellence (see citations here).
What did the award mean to you? How did it feel to be recognized?
DL: When I opened the letter from the President, at first I was stunned and speechless, and then thrilled and humbled. That has continued for the whole experience. It’s an honour to be recognized in the same group as the other PSAE recipients on campus.
FW: When the letter came, I actually didn’t open it right way until I heard Denise in the next office talking about the award. It’s humbling to know that the people you work with think so highly of you. I am thankful and grateful to work with such amazing people on campus. Part of what I was recognized for was my work with the United Way, and everyone who participated in our events has been so generous with their time and efforts. Without our colleagues’ enthusiasm and energy, the United Way campaign couldn’t happen.
The President’s Service Award for Excellence may be an individual award, but it exists because of all the terrific people on campus we work with every day.
How has the award impacted your workplace experiences?
DL: The immediate effect was that my colleagues came by to congratulate me. Lastingly, it has made me think about all the people who have mentored me throughout the years, supporting me in my career. Now, when I walk around campus, I keep thinking of all the really great people who work here and are engaged in the great work the University is doing. We are part of such a special community, and I appreciate my colleagues now more than ever, even the ones I don’t know all that well.
FW: This award helps me think about working at a higher level, bringing a higher standard to my work every day. I also have been remembering the people who have influenced me over the years, at UBC in the community and from previous jobs. They showed me how approaching each day with a can-do attitude and a determination succeed can help you accomplish so much.
How do you recognize your colleagues in the workplace?
DL: The most impactful thing about the award was that after it was announced, I got to see copies of the letters of support written for my nomination. To see what people appreciate about your actions, what they value in what you do, can be very inspiring.
Now, I am I’m doing that for other people – putting my appreciation in writing, sometimes just an email or a note. When I see something that is impressive or meaningful, I say so.
I also am working to spread the word about written recognition opportunities, either in the office or in supporting awards such as the President’s Service Awards for Excellence and the President’s Staff Awards.
FW: I am more conscious of complimenting and thanking people I work with, every day. There is so much work done in the background behind everything at UBC, I try to recognize all that hard work, and where it’s relevant I share that appreciation with the individual’s manager.
Anything else you’d like to add?
DL: I’m so grateful to be part of the UBC community. Where we support a culture of recognition, that supports a culture of achievement, and great stuff results.
As for me, I see in my own performance now how I want to live up to this award, , to build on that culture of encouragement and to build community here – to help people know that their achievements are seen and valued, that they are valued.
At UBC, there are so many people who are expert in what they do, and dedicated and love their work in supporting UBC and students. These people bring their best to the table at all levels across the institution, with passion and dedication, and this is builds a workplace culture that I want to be a part of.
FW: I couldn’t agree more with Denise.
Do you know staff who’ve made an outstanding contribution at UBC? Nominate them for the 2016 UBC President’s Awards for Staff.